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Cleansing of the Temple,Pallikoodas,3rdS,Nov.14,10

Pallikoodasa 3rd S.Nov.15,09

In today’s Gospel, we find Jesus making his annual pilgrimage like any other Israelite to the Temple. But the sights and sounds that he saw there shocked him.
The Temple for the Israelites is their most sacred place where they offer worship and praise to the Lord their God. In Deut.16,16, the Israelites are asked to make an annual pilgrimage for the Passover to the Temple and offer sacrifices. Those who could afford are asked to sacrifice an ox or a sheep and the poor two turtle doves or pigeons.
The Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of the month of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish year) and is followed by the festival of the unleavened bread.
Jesus comes to the Temple for the Passover celebration. The spectacle of trading, and the scene of shouting and bargaining that go with it provoke in Jesus such a moral outrage that he lashes out at the traders and money changers and drives them away from Temple.

The people who are there ask Him for signs or credentials that he has the authority to drive away traders from the Temple and to speak on behalf of God.. Jesus gives them the sign of his divine authority by pointing out to them that His body is the greatest Temple on earth and he would recover his life within three days after it is destroyed. They cannot catch the meaning of his words and even his disciples get the meaning of those words after his Resurrection.
We have more than a Temple in our midst. Our Church is the place where Jesus is present really. It is here that we pour out our pain and agony. It is here that we are comforted by the loving presence of Jesus. But how poor we are in our participation in the Eucharistic celebration! We use all kinds of pretexts to run out of the church as early as possible without even spending a few minutes thanking the Lord for His blessings. We also find pretexts to avoid going to the church on Sunday on account of social obligations and or of job-related matters.
The church is also the living community of the followers of Jesus. We have to respect our fellow brethren and do anything that is possible in our power to lighten their burdens and support them in their times of pain and hardships.
Our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.6:19). Our thoughts and words should be in conformity with the presence of Lord in our hearts. We who receive the body and blood of Jesus should lead a life that is full of love and forgiveness. If we allow ourselves to be conquered by our sinful passions, how can we bear witness to the presence of the Spirit of the Lord in our life?
Anger, hatred, contempt, lack of compassion and unforgiving attitudes are the ways in which we diminish the holiness of our lives. The Temple of our life is being made unholy by these vices. We shall take the whip of repentance in our hands and purify ourselves from such unchristian ways of behavior and show the compassion and love of Jesus to others. As Fulton J. Sheen puts it: “We must nourish ourselves with the truths of God and mortify ourselves of those things which are harmful to the soul, and be just as scrupulous in avoiding moral evil as we are avoiding physical evil.”


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