From the Pastor's Desk
Today’s first reading teaches us that the Ten Commandments are the basis of our religious and spiritual life. Instead of restricting our freedom the Commandments really help us to love and respect our God and our neighbors.
The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 19) depicts the Mosaic Law’s life-enhancing attributes: it refreshes the soul and rejoices the heart; it is pure and true, more precious than gold.
The second reading reminds us that we must appreciate the Divine “foolishness” of the crucified Christ and obey His commandment of love as expression of our Divine worship.
Today’s Gospel gives us the dramatic account of Jesus’ cleansing the Temple of its merchants and money-changers, followed by a prediction of his death and Resurrection. The synoptic Gospels place the "cleansing of the Temple" immediately after Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a colt on Palm Sunday, while John places it at the beginning of his Gospel. Jesus cleansed the Temple which King Herod began to renovate in 20 BC. The abuses which kindled the prophetic indignation of Jesus were the conversion of God’s Temple into a “noisy market place” by the animal merchants and into a “hideout of thieves” by the money-changers with their grossly unjust business practices – sacrilege in God’s Holy Place. Jesus’ reaction to this commercialized Faith was fierce. Since no weapons were allowed inside the Temple, Jesus had to construct his own weapon, a whip of cords to drive out the merchants and money-changers from the Court of the Gentiles.
1) We need to avoid a calculating mentality in Divine worship: Our relationship with God must be that of a child to his parent, one of mutual love, respect and a desire for the family’s good, with no thought of personal loss or gain. We are not supposed to think of God as a vending machine into which we put our sacrifices and good deeds to get back His blessings. 2) Let us remember that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit: St. Paul reminds us that we are God’s temples because the Spirit of God dwells in us. Hence, we have no right to desecrate God’s temple by impurity, injustice, pride, hatred or jealousy. Let us be cleansed by asking God’s forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 3) Let us love our parish Church and use it: Let us make our Church a holier place by adding our prayers and songs to our parish worship and offering our time and talents in the various ministries.