Jesus clears the Temple for the second time and Jewish leadership year to destroy Him. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can be strengthened in his awe of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and by building the Virtue of Fortitude so he can grow in his ability to face persecution for Jesus and His Church.
33rd Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Lk 19:45-48
While the people shouted with joyous acclaim as He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus was moved to great sorrow, as He wept and prophesized of the coming destruction of the Temple, and the slaughter of multitudes of Jews, including even pregnant women; later, in 70 A.D., Jesus’ prediction comes true when hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the Romans to put down their rebellion and the Temple is destroyed.
As He enters the Temple, Jesus finds the Temple corrupt as foretold 500 years earlier (Mal 3:1-2). Due to the growing number of Jewish pilgrims, it had become “big business” to provide animals for ritual sacrifice, and exchange foreign currency for the Temple tax; the priests and many men profited from the lucrative business, even allowing the sacrilege of buying and selling inside the Temple in the outer court. Jesus’ profound love of His “Father’s house” was strong from an early age (Lk 2:41-52) and, moved by righteous indignation, Jesus, whip in hand, forcefully drives out the merchants and animals from the large outer court area (35 acres/26 football fields), rightfully calling them “thieves” (Jer 7:11).
Jesus then defends the Temple from further sacrilege. He condemns the corruption of Israel for failing to offer worthy prayer (Is 56:7) and desecrating His Temple. The Jewish leaders, who profited from the corrupt Temple commerce, scheme and conspire to destroy Jesus but, cowardly and manipulative, they are afraid to take action because the crowd “hung on His words.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded by how Jesus violently clears the large Temple area (CCC 583-586): Son of the Father and Protector, Jesus is driven by Divine Justice (Vindication) to purge unholy sacrilege from His Father’s house; Jesus uses just Anger, Charisma, and imposing physical Strength, despite not having eaten, to take Aggressive/Harsh action to Frighten and clear out hundreds of cut-throat merchants and their animals.
Ask the Spirit for awe of Christ’s Real Presence
Realize: Tragically, in many parishes there is a sacrilegious and scandalous lack of awe and honor for Jesus in the Mass, because most Catholics do not believe His Real Presence actually resides in the Eucharist: casual or immodest dress, chatter before, during and after Mass, irreverent liturgies/music, casual or even damning reception of the Eucharist (1 Cor 11:27).
Believe: Reflect upon Deep Reverence of the Eucharist (CCC 1384-1390, 1415, 1418, 2628), Sacrilege (CCC 2118, 2120, 2139), and Scandal (CCC 2284-2287, 2326).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I am guided by You to comprehend and be awed by the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist and I have an overwhelming reverence for the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Be fortified to face persecution for Christ
Realize: Evil men schemed and murdered the Son of God and persecuted the Apostles and saints across the age; every Catholic man who seeks to profess the Truth of Christ should not be surprised by, and personally prepare for, persecution in all its various forms (bigotry, calumny, intimidation, legal coercion, censorship, loss of vocation, imprisonment, violence, murder).
Believe: Reflect upon Persecution (CCC 530, 675, 1435, 1716, 2303).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Fortitude so I can have the courage and patience to face persecution for Your Kingdom and I can persevere in the work that You have given me to do, no matter the ferocity of the attacks by Satan and his foolish helpers; Lord, strengthen me with Your Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.