YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: JESUS ANGRY? SHOULD HE BE???
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: MEMORIAL OF ST CECILIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
READINGS: 1MACCABEES 4:36-37.52-59, PSALM 1CHRON. 29, LUKE 19:45-48
Jesus angry? How could he, so acclaimed as the very incarnation of love act with such violence to the business men in the temple? Beloved, we must note that Jesus wasn’t just angry with the money changers and animal sellers for turning the temple into a market square. There was more, all of them were cheats, highly corrupt men extorting money from the poor and less privileged. Today, Jesus would be angry with every leader, religious leaders especially who are terribly inconsiderate and who extort money from their flocks via: levies, development funds, AMC/Easter duties, taxes and other overcharged payments.
Every male Jew had to pay a temple tax of half a shekel (nearly equal to two days’ pay for working men). Then, there were different kind of currencies in Palestine for ordinary use but not temple tax. At the Passover, those who had no shekels would bring their monies to the money changers in the temple who would help change them. The money changers charged extra commission hence enriched themselves at the expense of the poor worshipers. Friends in the Lord, similar circumstance surrounded the animal sellers; for they inflated the prices of their livestock knowing that people must buy. This was because, spotless animals were difficult to come by outside the temple. So, injustice was being perpetuated right in the house of the author of justice and truth. He had to condemn and cleanse his Father’s house.
In our world today, there is a deliberately planned victimization of the average citizens the poor, and underprivileged. There is legalized robbery thriving in public offices, market squares, worship centers and so on. The victims for the most part are those who have no one to defend them. Jesus today proves to be angry and even violent to the unjust business men/women of the temple. He charges all of us his followers to be aflame with the passion for social justice.
Beloved friends in the Lord, we must cleanse ourselves of all evil, unrighteousness, injustice, oppression and marginalization; debauchery and covetousness etc. for our hearts, are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Like Judas and his brothers who chose after the conquest of their enemies to rededicate themselves, their land, temple etc, make conscious efforts to return to God flushing out sin, evil and vice so that God’s grace can fill us.
St. Cecilia whose memorial we celebrate today in the face of death refused to denounce her faith saying: “Do you not know that I am the bride of Jesus Christ; do you not know that nothing will make me so happy as to die for Christ?” May St. Cecilia intercede for us in our bid to stay resilient in our faith come what may. Amen.
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