Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’”
The Lord drove out money exchangers and those who were selling things. He was cleaning His Father’s house. He did not destroy His Father’s house nor did He decide to abandon His Father’s house. What he did was to put His Father’s house back in order; to bring it back from the dead; to raise it up again and make it shine once again.
Over and over again, throughout its two thousand year history, the Lord has swept house and disinfected His home, The Church. He will not allow His Home, His Church to remain stained with sin. Purification is always required before renewal can take place. When bishops and priests began to live like kings and princes, St. Francis of Assisi came in and restored the glamour and beauty of Christ-like simplicity and poverty. He evangelized not by words but by action and the faithful listened and believed. When the bishops and priests began to live and act like politicians and merchants, St. Ignatius of Loyola came in and restored the glamour and beauty of discipline, the kind common to soldiers. He created an army of men dedicated to Christ and in pursuit of heavenly gold – souls. These Jesuits rejected all forms of comfort and their numbers quickly swelled to thousands. Today, millions of people credit their success to this band or society of brothers!
The Catholic Church is the “sacrament” of Christ’s body and the tabernacle is the “sacrament” of His divinity and soul. The Lord, in scourging his temple, was teaching us a lesson: we all need to clean our house - our interior castle - the temple of the Holy Spirit. Can I not say that the Church is a “sacrament” of my body and the tabernacle is a “sacrament” of my soul? Of course it is. It is not the “Church” that sins, it is I who sin and because of my sin I defile the Church! It is not an institution that sins; it is a group of individuals who sin and because of their collective sin, I cause scandal within the Church!
While the Lord was driving out those who were selling, the chief priests, the scribes and the leaders of the people were seeking to put him to death! Because of this unfortunate truth, all Jews have been labeled as the Lord’s murderers! Of course it is not true. It is not true not only because many Jews came to see The Way, The Truth and The Life in Christ Jesus, but because we are all guilty, by our sins, of Christ’s death.
When I sin I defile the body of Christ, the Church, and the Church is stained with filth. Only through Christ’s blood, his suffering, his pain and his death, is the Church cleansed. Only by the lives of the Saints, does Christ shine throughout the world.
Is atheism the way to go when Christians defy God? Is emptiness the solution to a lack of holiness? Hardly! How depressing would that be!
Is Occupy a proper response to the Tea Party? Is a left-wing a proper response to a right-wing? Yes, but only if the body governs both, for the one wing exists for the other only to help the body get home. The body is more than a wing and should never be reduced to one.
Saints are the proper response to sinners. Guards are not. Guards may be needed, but Saints are the necessary requirement to spin the world back to Paradise and away from Alcatraz!
Do I need to do some cleaning? Do I listen to his voice? Do I give glory to God in my words and actions? Am I living not as men live but as men of God live?