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You are Sacred
Gospel Reflection for Thursday, November 9, 2023
Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
"Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
"What sign can you show us for doing this?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
The Jews said,
"This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?"
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.
Today’s readings are all about the sacredness of the Temple of God. The Alleluia states, “I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, that my name may be there forever.” The first reading speaks of the spiritual Temple, from which water flow to the trees that will be food and medicine for all people - this is the Church that fulfills that role throughout the world. But, it is the second reading that I want to focus on:
Brothers and sisters:
You are God's building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God's temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
God has made each living human being to be His Temple. God comes to dwell within our hearts in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Only through understanding this reality may we perceive who we are intended to be and how we should relate to others. Each person’s life and integrity should be defended with the same zeal that Jesus defended the Temple! This is why Catholics must never compromise on issues of abortion and euthanasia. A life may only be lawfully taken in defense of another’s life. We cannot compromise on sex trafficking, or any form of exploitation. We cannot accept the relativistic morals of modern society nor adopt political ideologies that reduce human beings to mere numbers or chattel. And, we must never allow children to be educated, or indoctrinated into such evil.
And, what are we to think of those who build upon God’s Church? When a priest tells me that Pope Francis will not excommunicate or even criticize pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi due to the large amounts of money they donate (or moneys that would be withheld due to their influence), what am I to think? When Catholic Charities facilitates human trafficking, drug trafficking, sex slavery and the rape of children on our southern border, what am I to think? When so many of our bishops seem hell-bent on normalizing sexual deviancy, what am I to think?
All I can do is trust the words of Jesus who guaranteed that evil would not prevail over His Church. That said, it is up to each of us to defend the temple that is the Church through the power of the Spirit of God that dwells within us. Prayer is our most potent weapon. But, it is no substitute for action and speaking boldly. We must demand reforms within the Church and that Catholic Charities be stripped of its Catholic affiliation and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I am also in favor of groups like Catholic for Catholics who are working toward such goals.
It will not be easy. We will face far more opposition from many of our priest and bishops than do liberal politicians. We may expect to be shunned by friends and family - Jesus promised we would if we keep His commandments. I believe fully though, that if enough second collections have more notes demanding the condemnation of Catholic Charities than donations, action will soon be taken to combat this evil, and if we stop donating to liberal Catholic universities they will soon stop promoting abortion, homosexuality and communism. We must drive the money changers from the temple… perhaps not ironically, we can do this with our dollars.
Judson Carroll is the author of several books, including his newest, Confirmation, an Autobiography of Faith. It is Available in paperback on Amazon:
His new podcast is The Uncensored Catholic https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-uncensored-catholic