The House of Prayer

It is clear that the Bible mentions the House of God is the house of prayer. Hundreds of years before Jesus, the Temple of God was built as a place for Israel to worship their God, the God of their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had delivered them from the slavery in Egypt, and after the exile from Babylonia. The Temple of God in Jerusalem became a symbol of the freedom and the kingdom of God.
It is said that many people came to the Temple to worship and glorify God. Every year they gather together at the temple to celebrate their freedom. Every single person from domestic or over sea alike comes to Jerusalem to celebrate the paschal feast. From these facts we get to know the Temple of God was the very heart of Jews tradition of worshiping God. That was their idealism as an independent nation, as a chosen nation.

But the temple no longer be a truly the house of prayer since the priests or those were in charge or who have duty to look after the temple  obligated some new strict rules that must be obeyed of people who come to the temple. Moreover they took over the power to legalize whether or not a sacrifice is clean or valid (halal). To make sure that the offerings were valid they forced people to buy offerings from their store somewhere in the temple. It is quite socking that cost of the offering was double. This raised difficulties in the heart of the people. People no longer think of God first but money, the priests and the offering sellers instead. Especially if it comes to the poor they will not be able come to the temple. In other words corruptions and injustice have come to the temple and destroy the dignity of the temple and turned it into a robbers’ den.
At that time, Jesus came and drove away those who were selling in the temple. He cleaned it up with his power and his “anger”. He could see no longer the temple as a building like what the Jews understood but his body instead. He came to bring back the dignity of house of prayer. He explained the truly meaning of the Temple clearly. It is the house of prayer where everyone is welcomed, black and white, the rich and the poor, man and woman, the priests and lay people alike. Moreover the temple is Jesus’ body. It will be destroyed but on the third day He rose again from the death to draw everyone close to Him. Jesus brings back our freedom and gave the power to the Church to continue what He has done in the world. And the Church has been living for about 2000 years and has done as much as she could do to bring people coming together closer to Jesus.

The Gospel today (Luk 19:45-47)remains us the Temple of God is the place where God reigns. St. Paul further said that our body is the temple of God. How? It is because we were baptized in the name of Jesus and receive the Eucharist. Jesus has transformed our body to be holy. Our hearts have a strong root in Christ. But in the way of our life it is often that we couldn't see the house of God in our hearts. We try to go out our body to get the peace, the freedom or whatever instead. In fact the answer is in our heart. We are coming back to our heart where there God lives alone. Mary the Mother of God gave us the example of opening heart to God’s will. She is our mother, the mother of the Church who brings about many people closer to God.

Bro Nest

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