As Jesus came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’ Then Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, ‘It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer”; but you have made it a den of robbers.’ Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
Today is Thursday, the 21 November, in the Thirty Third Week of Ordinary Time.
One Hope Project sing, ‘Where the Lord Dwells’.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
Today’s reading follows on almost directly from yesterday’s story of Jesus’ journey up to Jerusalem. He made his way to the Temple pretty quickly. And then he behaved in a most unexpected fashion; he must have caused quite a stir. People would have been startled; some might have shared his anger at what he found there, not the “house of prayer” that it should have been. Where might your own sympathies have lain? If you had been there, how do you imagine that you might have responded?
Ponder, for a few moments, anything similar in your own living. What are the temples in your own life that are desecrated by sin, injustice, selfishness, lack of respect? Have you felt like Jesus did in this story?
What about Jesus, showing signs of being upset, frustrated, even angry? Have you ever thought that Jesus could be angry like that? Listen again to this surprising incident in the Gospel story. It’s enough to get some people plotting against him, but he shows no fear.
Is there anything about today’s reading that still puzzles you? Anything about Jesus’ behaviour you don’t understand? Talk to him about this and ask him what is going on deep within his own heart, when he sees what he saw in the temple. Then talk to him about anything similar in your own heart.