FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA NOVEMBER 9, 2019
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 2:13-22
Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews said, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.
"Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."
Every spring my mother always made sure her daughters had a new dress for Easter Sunday mass. There was great preparation in gathering the materials and spending time cutting and sewing a new dress for her eight girls. Hats and shoes were purchased to match and we were thrilled to have something new to wear to church. We had a great zeal for an Easter renewal and a sense of clothing ourselves with unspoiled garments. Interiorly and exteriorly, we presented ourselves to God on the holiest day of the year.
In the Gospel, there was great preparation for the Jewish Passover to celebrate their new life of freedom. However, when Jesus arrived in the temple, his actions were intent on changing this unrecognizable place of worship back to what it should be, a holy place. Today, we should be allowing Jesus to enter in us every time we go to mass in “his Father’s house”. We are all temples of God and should come before Jesus asking Him to clean our hearts, minds, souls and bodies. He can drive out the things that don’t belong in holy temples through our willingness to surrender to God. And ultimately, Jesus can clothe us properly when we receive the sacraments of confession and Holy Communion.
Let us ask ourselves, what does Jesus find in us, a marketplace or a house fitting and ready to worship God? Are we truly present during mass, or are we thinking of our worldly life? As temples of God, we can continually seek ways to surrender our will to His will. We can humble ourselves to become a place of worship, adoring his loving sacrifice and mercy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our Sundays were celebrated as an Easter Sunday, with zeal in our hearts to worship God?