Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 501. Fri. of 33 week. I Macc. 4:36-37.52-59. I
Chronicles 29:10.11.11-12.12. Luke 19:45-48:
Jesus in many ways is similar to the prophet Jeremiah who had a very
special calling from the Lord to confront kings and religious leaders.
Jeremiah also suffered very much and pleaded with God whom he was convinced
had duped him! Jesus cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken
me." Today we see Jesus confronting with his justifiable anger the money
changers within the temple. Jeremiah had done the same for other reasons
and said it is useless to fake homage to the Temple and then behave
immorally. "The Temple! the Temple! the Temple!" Jesus uses the
expression of "My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of
thieves...Zeal for your house has eaten me up."
Perhaps, we as believers, can take the first part of that expression and
think about it in reference to our prayer life and our desire to worship
and honor God with reverence and devotion. "My house is meant for a house
of prayer." We are encouraged by this saying to respect sacred places like
synagogues, chapels, and mosques. Even today, when we think people are
civilized, crimes are committed agains these houses of prayer. They are
desecrated, burned, destroyed. We therefore must cherish these places that
are rather accessible to us. We often know of others who have found a
sanctuary to be a place for calming oneself and for finding some peaceful
space to just "be." On some Catholic campuses one can see students
gathering to pray and worship God both as friends and as individuals. This
helps others to think about God and to do the same with respectful behavior
and with prayer.
In religious communities there is usually a chapel for the praying of the
Divine Office or for the Mass, but religous brothers and sisters also have
a space in their own room for prayer--a favorite corner with an icon or a
candle and maybe a Bible nearby or a spiritual reading book. With Advent
fast approaching us, we may wish to look into whether we have a sacred
space for our personal prayer and whether we may find some prayer time to
visit a Church and pray there. The quiet atmosphere will help us in our
Finally, here is a thought from Cardinal Newman: "May God support us all
the day long, until the shadows lengthen and evening comes and the busy
world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done.
Then in His mercyhmay He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace
at last." Amen.
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