Jesus violently clears the Temple of sacrilegious merchants and money-traders for the first time. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding for the Holy Spirit so he can be astonished and grateful for the Real Presence in the Eucharist and by building the Virtue of Fortitude so he can anticipate and prepare for persecution.
Following the launch of His public ministry at the Wedding of Cana, Jesus travels by foot, some 100 miles, as He did each year, to attend the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. As He enters the Temple, Jesus finds the Temple being corrupted as foretold 500 years earlier (Mal 3:1-2). Of note: scholars conclude this is the first of two times Jesus cleanses the Temple; He returns three years later to cleanse the Temple a final time during Passion Week (Mt 21:12-13).
It was “big business” to provide animals for sacrifice and exchange foreign currency to pay 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. Moved by righteous indignation and zeal, Jesus, whip in hand, forcefully drives out the merchants and animals from the large outer court area (35 acres/26 football fields), scattering coins as He turns over the money tables.
When His authority is challenged, Jesus cryptically offers prophecy of His own Passion and Resurrection, mysteriously revealing that after three days, He would rise again. Jesus refuses to respond to the confused Jewish leaders who take His words literally, saving the meaning of His words for the disciples to realize and be awed by, after His Resurrection. Knowing the evil in men’s hearts, Jesus takes no comfort in the acclaim of the crowds in Jerusalem, prophetically realizing these same crowds will call for His Crucifixion three years later.
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 righteous Anger, Charisma and His imposing physical Strength to take Aggressive and Violent action to Frighten and clear out hundreds of cut-throat merchants and their animals.
Be astonished and grateful for the Real Presence
Realize: Sadly, in many parishes today, there is a Sacrilegious (CCC 2118, 2120, 2139) lack of awe and honor for Jesus: irreverent liturgies and music, casual or immodest dress, chatter before, during and after mass, casual or even damning reception of the Eucharist (1 Cor 11:27). The scandalous widespread sacrilege is because the majority of Catholics are ignorant or reject the truth that Jesus’ Real Presence resides in the Eucharist; when a Catholic man commits a sacrilegious acts it is a mortal (deadly) sin against The 1st Commandment.
Believe: Reflect upon the need for Deep Reverence of the Eucharist (CCC 1384-1390, 1415, 1418, 2628).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I am always aware of, am awed by, and zealously respect and defend Christ’s Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Anticipate and prepare for persecution
Realize: Evil men schemed and murdered the Son of God; every Catholic man should not be surprised by, and prepare for, persecution in all its various forms (bigotry, calumny, intimidation, censorship, legal coercion, imprisonment, violence, murder); these attacks on the Catholic faithful have increased during these dark days and will get much worse as more and more men become seduced by Satan in the diseased modern culture.
Believe: Reflect upon Persecution (CCC 530, 675, 1435, 1716, 2303).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified King, help me build the Virtue of Fortitude so I joyously take up the great call to be Your disciple, I face the resistance and persecution of the world with courage and perseverance, and I do my small part to serve You and help build Your Holy Catholic Church.