Have you ever really pictured an angry Jesus? A Jesus with a whip out of cords chasing people out of a temple? I don’t think many of us have. In today’s gospel, we see Jesus in the temple driving out merchants. He over-turns the tables of the money changers and drives out the merchants selling doves. And when the incensed crowed asked for his justification he simply replied “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”. So profound were these words that this prophecy came to be part of the basis of the Christian faith.
We take a lot of things for granted in life and the gospel readings are no exception. I can say that I have heard this reading over twenty times in my life time but it wasn’t till I actually sat down to analyze it that I realized, Jesus must have been really angry. And then I thought, but why? Why did it anger him so much that they were selling goods in the temple? And then why did he give such an enigmatic reply? Oh my, Jesus must have gotten a lot of raised eyebrows that day. But then when we stop and look at it on a deeper level we realize how greedy those merchants must have been to use the one place that has been made the sanctuary of God as a means to make money. They in essence were trying to steal people’s attention away from God for their own material gains. It makes us wonder if our age is anything like that. Even though we do not have money lenders inside our churches today do we ever try to steal God’s attention away? I think by little things we do like wearing inappropriate outfits to church we are in part like those money lenders. Even in our everyday lives, not giving due credit to God for something we’ve done is in part taking part of God’s attention.
Stealing God’s attention must be really serious to have gotten Jesus so angry. We have to be conscious of ourselves that we give God all our attention when we are in his presence and give Him his due recognition when we accomplish something great; because it is not by our power that we are who we are, but by the power of God.
*The content of these blogs are the personal reflections of the author and do not represent official Columban positions or statements