Wednesday, November 20, 2019
FRIDAY, 33RD Week in Ordinary Time
November 22, 2019 – FRIDAY, 33RD Week in Ordinary Time
St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
1 Mc 4: 36 – 37, 52 – 59 / Lk 19: 45 – 48
St. Cecilia (d. c117) was martyred for her unwillingness to sacrifice to the pagan gods.
FROM THE 1ST READING: 1 Mc 4: 56 – 58
They celebrated the consecration of the altar for eight days, joyfully offering holocausts and celebrating sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise. The front of the temple was adorned with crowns of gold and shields; the gates and the rooms had been restored and fitted with doors. There was no end to the celebration among the people, and so the profanation of the temple by the pagans was forgotten.
GOSPEL READING: Lk 19: 45 – 48
Then Jesus entered the Temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, "God says in the Scriptures: My house shall
be a house of prayer: but you have turned it into a den of robbers."
Jesus was teaching every day in the Temple. The chief priests and teachers of the Law wanted to kill him and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to him and hanging on his words.
In the first reading Judas Maccabeus, the leader of the Jews loyal to their covenant with Yahweh, with joyous celebrations restores proper worship at the Temple in Jerusalem which had been desecrated by invaders.
In the Gospel reading Jesus in anger drives out the merchants who were profaning the House of God with their active trade and business in the Temple area: "My house shall be a house of prayer: but you have turned it into a den of robbers."
In the longer account in John of Jesus clearing the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus uses the occasion to predict his resurrection, "'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.' . . . Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words." (Jn 2: 19 – 22)
By his cleansing of the Temple, Jesus affirmed respect for the House of God, wherein the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant rested. Enraged, he drove out the merchants selling animals to be sacrificed or given as offering; he overthrew the tables of the money-changers. "Take all this away and stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace." (Jn 2: 16)
How do we behave in church? How do we dress for church? What respect do we show during Mass and other religious services? Our churches house the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus in our midst as bread. Our churches are God's house.
FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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