Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Recently, at a Catholic Mass in Malmo, Sweden, Pope Francis offered a new set of Beatitudes for modern Christians. Included on the list was “Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted upon them by others and forgive them from their heart.”
Today’s Gospel reading is a reflection of this sentiment. In it, we see Jesus acting in righteous anger as he drives out those who are selling things in the temple. Jesus’ purpose is to speak out against those who act unjustly and foster hatred and wrong-doing. This message is not always well-received. Jesus is met here and elsewhere in the Gospels with hostility and even violence as he spreads his ideals of love and forgiveness. Yet, Jesus and Pope Francis remind us of who we are called to be. Even in the face of evil, we are called to act out of love. Even when others seek to harm us, we are called to forgive.
-Mrs. Sarah Becvar teaches history and American politics at St. Louis U. High.
Lord, help me to stand for love, justice and peace even when it isn’t popular to do so. Help me to forgive those who wrong me even when it is difficult. Amen.
–Mrs. Sarah Becvar
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