Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture readings are perfectly unanimous in their messages, which the Church intended for us all to know and understand, so that in our own respective lives we may grow ever more faithful and devoted to Him Who is present in us and Who dwells in all of us, the Holy Temple of His most Holy Presence.
In the first reading, we heard about how the forces of the faithful Israelites led by the Maccabee family retook the Temple of God in Jerusalem which had been captured by the Greeks earlier on and made into an abomination of the pagan gods and idols. The faithful removed all the wicked things and vile idols from the Temple, tore down the old and defiled altar and rebuilt a new altar in its place.
Then in the Gospel reading, we heard about how Jesus our Lord became angry because of the merchants, money changers, all the sins and the vileness of human greed that took place in the courtyard of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, where many people cheated each other in money and possessions, and where greed had no bounds, without due regards for the Lord’s House and its sanctity.
Therefore God was right to be angry and His wrath was justified, for all these people had defiled His House, His sanctuary and His dwelling place, just as those Greeks under king Antiochus IV Epiphanes had done many years before the birth of Jesus. He cast them all out with a whip, and with that purified the Temple of God from all the evils of the world, the evils of money, of greed and of boundless pride, the pride of men before God.
But all these readings will not make sense to us, and neither will they be beneficial to us, if we do not understand their true significance, their important meaning and what they wanted to convey to us. It is the very fact that because all these abominations and evils had corrupted the Temple of God in Jerusalem that God had been angry with, sending His faithful and later even His own Son, to be the ones to cast out all of the wickedness away from His holy Presence.
And that Temple of God built first by Solomon, and later rebuilt by the priest and prophet Ezra, and built to a new height of architectural glory and fame by the king Herod the Great, all these in their magnificent appearance, all the gold, silver and precious items within, all these cannot be compared to the new Temples of His residence which God has decided to dwell in, no longer in the Temple of God in Jerusalem, but in the hearts of His faithful.
Yes, lest we are all unaware of this fact, and lest that we have been deceived into thinking otherwise, we have to remember what St. Paul mentioned in one of his letters, reminding us the faithful that we are all the Temples of the Holy Spirit, for as with the Apostles who received the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost day, from them, we have received the same Spirit as well.
And do not forget that we have also received in the Most Holy Eucharist, our Lord’s own Most Precious Body and Most Precious Blood, and therefore, we dwell in Him and He is dwelling in us, in body, spirit, mind, heart and soul. Thus all of us are the essence and substance of His new dwelling in this world, and there can be no compare between the temples built by the kings and the prophets which were made from stones and precious items of the earth, but not from the very creation of God, made in His own image, that is us.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be ever vigilant, that in all of our words, actions and dealings, all of us will be always faithful to our Lord without exception, and always try to keep our body, our mind, our heart and our soul free from the taints of sin as much as possible, so that the Lord Who sees all hearts and minds, will find us worthy and bless us. For otherwise His righteous anger will be upon us, and we will be cast out forever from His presence into eternal damnation.
May God bless us always, and help us to keep our ways righteous, just and holy, so that our Temple of His presence, our own bodies, minds, hearts and souls will be pure and holy and worthy to be His dwelling on earth. God be with us all, now and forever. Amen.