FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Friday November 23, 2018
Thirty Third Week of Ordinary Time
WORD of the DAY
Then 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”. (Luke 19: 45-46)
How shall I live this Word?
That Jesus, who in the great proclamation of the Beatitudes had asserted “Blessed are the meek” seems exactly the opposite of meekness in these lines of the Gospel.
And this is fine! As in the great masterpieces of the Renaissance Painters, it is not all light nor all darkness, but the alternation of them that expresses the strength and beauty of the work of art.
Jesus drives away from the sacred place those unfortunates who had much more thirst for money than respect and veneration for a place where sacred rites were held.
A young man told me: “It’s just what happens to certain entrepreneurs, powerful in the great market that is the world today. ‘Come on, you just have to decide to give a boost to certain customs, habits, and especially to the current mentality’. The very sanctity of the body and of the love of the couple cannot be disfigured by a totally material interest: to make money as much as possible, take the next trip, be indifferent to the weakest.
No, you must celebrate the sacredness of life, live in a heart pacified by the choice of faith: I decide for respect, for the commitment to take care of those who at home and outside need help, to become more and more inclined to give for love than to continually claim rights that are preached by my ego. Life, even that of a blade of grass, has its own sacredness because it is a gift from God. Woe if I clasp it and suffocate it in my hands, or make it shrivel with my heavy steps like that of a trotting horse.
Desecrating egoism is today the plague ‘of too many people’ who are comfortably alone in their well-being, perhaps with some sprinkling of old religious customs at times.
Lord, You lead the ‘crazy horse’ that I am onto to paths of attention to my neighbor, to the courageous rejection of suggestions from a culture only interested in promoting material comfort and well-being, too often forgetting the deep needs of a spiritual life.
The Voice of John Chrysostom, Church Father
Do you want to honor the body of Christ? After honoring Him in church, do not despise Him when He is clothed in rags outside the church door. The one who said, “this is my body” also said “this is my hunger”. What does it matter that the Lord’s table sparkles with golden cups, while He dies of hunger? What’s the point of offering Him purple and gold, and refusing Him a glass of water? Make the house of the Lord beautiful, but do not despise the beggar, for the temple of the flesh of this brother is more precious than the temple of stones”.
Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA