Catholic Mass Readings
November 23 Friday
33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
I, John, heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go’, it said, ‘and take that open scroll from the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’ I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but it will taste as sweet as honey.’ So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and I ate it and it tasted sweet as honey, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time against many different nations and countries and languages and kings.’
Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were busy trading, saying to them, ‘According to scripture, my house shall be a house of prayer but you have turned it into a bandits’ den.’ He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, in company with the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they could not find a way to carry this out because the whole people hung on his words.
Jesus went to Jerusalem, knowing he would meet death on the cross, but victory as well for our sake. His act of judgement in the temple is meant to be a prophetic sign and warning to the people that God takes our worship very seriously. In this incident we see Jesus’ seemingly violent action in cleansing the temple of those who were using it to exploit the worshippers of God. The money changers took advantage of the poor and forced them to pay more than what was right and that too in the house of the Lord! Their robbery of the poor meant dishonouring God and injustice toward their neighbours. His act of judgement aimed at purifying the worship of God’s people and to discipline their erring ways. Despite the objections of the religious leaders, all the people present stood ،n awe of Jesus and they hung upon his words. The Lord disciplines and chastises us in love to lead us from the error of our ways to his truth and justice.