November 20, 2015

Nov. 20

November 20, 2015:  Friday, 33rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Houses' tie:  "My house shall be a house of prayer" (gospel)
  • 'Treble clef with cross' pin:  They offered sacrifice with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals (1st reading)
  • Gold-colored 'crown' tie bar and 'shield' tie pin:  They ornamented the temple with gold crowns and shields (1st reading)
  • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' the merchants out of the temple (gospel) [oops, forgot, so see here]
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis homily:  Christ's words, not 'holy bribes'
After the Temple was reconsecrated, God's people rejoiced because they'd rekindled their true identity.  Those who indulge in worldliness can’t celebrate; they can be amused or excited, but true joy only comes from faith.  Jesus drove merchants from the Temple saying, “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you've made it a robbers' den.”  The chief priests and scribes dishonored and compromised the Temple, a symbol of the Church.  There's always a danger of corruption within the Church; it happens when we become dominated by money and power instead of faith, joy, and salvation.  The priests were driven by money and power, not the Holy Spirit, and to justify themselves poisoned the free spirit of the Lord with hypocrisy.
The chief priests and scribes were involved in the merchants' dealings; it was "holy bribery!"  "The chief priests and scribes wanted to kill Jesus, along with the elders," but everyone hung on his words.  Jesus’ strength is in his words and love.  There's no room for worldliness or corruption where Jesus is.  Never seek comfort from another master; we can't serve two masters: God and riches or power.  Pray for the Church.  Remember today’s martyrs, who suffer and die, so as not to be ensnared by worldly desires, obsession, or apostasy.  There are more martyrs today than ever before.  Pray we never fall into the trap of worldliness...
  • 1 Mc 4:36-37, 52-59  Judas Maccabeus and his brothers purify, repair, ornament, and rededicate the sanctuary with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals.  All the people adore and praise Heaven and prostrate themselves.  They decree the dedication should be celebrated every year....
  • 1 Chr 29:10b-12  "We praise your glorious name, O mighty God."  All is yours.
  • Lk 19:45-48  Jesus drove sellers out of temple:  “My house shall be a house of prayer."  Leaders sought to kill him, but people were hanging on his words.
    • Creighton:  “My house is a house of prayer, but you've made it a den of thieves”:  Jesus is speaking of the temple, but it could be my house.  I let in thieves to take me down a road different from prayer.  I make excuses:  I'm busy, tired, frustrated, angry, or bored....  But that's exactly when I should pray.  When I let those thieves in, I'm stealing from myself.  May I drive them out, listen and respond to Jesus, be mindful....
    • Passionist:  What a contrast there is between how the Maccabees look at the temple and how the “chief priests, scribes, and leaders” do.  The Maccabees restored the temple and worship, built a new altar and made burnt offerings and sacrifices.  They saw God dwelt there and deserved reverence; restoring it filled them with so much joy that they wanted to celebrate it every year.  The chief priests, scribes, and leaders, however, were more concerned about the temple as a place of commerce; Jesus became angry and drove the merchants out.  The Church is more than its buildings; we are the place where people meet God.  Does being the place where God dwells fill me with joy?
    •  "All the people hung upon his words":  This is the only incident we see Jesus using physical force.  God takes our worship seriously.  Money changers gouging the poor dishonored God and was unjust toward their neighbor.  His act aimed to purify the worship of God's people.  How hungry am I for God's word? 

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