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Doctrines & Morals

My House shall be a House of Prayer for all people

1 Macc. 4:36-37.52-59, Lk. 19:45-48. Today’s readings recall the re-consecration of Jerusalem Temple. In today's first reading, the re-consecration happens in Jerusalem, after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes; and in today's Gospel, Jesus cleanses the sanctuary and registers His displeasure at what is happening in the Temple in Jerusalem. Instead of serving its original purpose as a house of prayer for everyone, it had become an avenue to take advantage of the poor and force them to pay more than what they were suppose to pay. Their act of robbing the poor meant dishonouring God and injustice towards their neighbours. These readings help us to ponder how to make our lives and our Church truly a house of prayer, a Temple pleasing to God. Jesus has wept over Jerusalem for failing to recognise its time of grace. He enters the Temple and drives out the merchants and traders. His objection is not to the ritual sacrifices but to the abuse of religion for financial gain by merchants and religious leaders who were more concerned for money than the worship of the Almighty God.

To purify the Temple means to let God be Supreme in our lives. That means, our business and financial dealings as well as our political lives must be moderated by the law of justice and compassion. We must bring every aspect of our daily lives, family and neighbourhood, work and recreation, into the Temple, so that these can be purified, sanctified and placed under the protection of God. As we renew our attachment to Him, God can say of us: “My house is a house of prayer.” Every part of our life, home and family, work and play, can contribute to the depth and sincerity of our prayer, with God enthroned everywhere in our being.

May the Lord grant us the grace to respect and never take God's dwelling in us for granted! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!

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