“Yours -Are His Hands”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Today’s Gospel: John 2:13-22 (Jesus Cleanses The Temple) “The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me." The Jews then said to him, "What sign have you to show us for doing this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”
This scene is so unique and yet so important in our spiritual journey. What keeps you from being in God’s presence? Most people understand that the “Temple” the “Church” is the place where God dwells. With that said, this scripture captures the part of Jesus we don’t normally see, Jesus wasn’t happy and He, “..drove them out”. The only time we read about Jesus driving anything out, is when He drove out / cast out demons. Look at scripture that says just that:
Matthew 9:32-34 “As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
Mark 1:33-34 “And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.”
Mark 16:8-10 “They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.”
1 John 4:17-19 “By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.”
There are many others, but look at the last scripture, it speaks of casting out fear, interesting how Jesus “cast out” everything that works against us deepening our faith. Demons pull us away from God presence, God’s love and all that is good in His sight… Now with all that said let’s go back to today’s gospel.
Money-changers of the time weren’t always honest or sincere. In today’s Gospel, this activity is called a, “house of trade”, but in Mark’s gospel version he refers to this as a, “den of thieves”. My reflection is that Jesus’ physical aggression shows me how important it is for us to stand for what is RIGHT; and if those in this world wish to offend our Lord, His Temple and our Faith –We must defend them. Being Christian doesn’t mean being wimpy and soft and easily pushed around. On the contrary, if we are to be true to our faith, true to our belief and most certainly true to Jesus –We must be BOLD in His defense. Scripture does say, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” ~1 Corinthians 12:27
In today’s gospel the “money-changers” were doing there sinful deeds on Holy ground. How dare they do evil deeds at God’s house. Jesus’ response is encouraging and insightful –defending His Father’s honor, respect and temple. I am greatly encouraged by today’s gospel, I hope and pray that you are to.
“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.” ~St. Teresa of Avila
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And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS