Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tuesday in Holy Week

The Gospel reading from today's Lectionary is St. Mark 11:15-19:

Jesus and those who followed came to Jerusalem. And Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, "Is it not written,

`My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'?
But you have made it a den of robbers."

And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

We're approaching the point in the redemption story where we're hours away from the Master's betrayal, and all that would follow. If the weather conditions mirrored today's forecast for Jerusalem, it would have been a pleasant day with clear skies and temperatures in the 70's (or low 20's C). But in the unseen realms, a storm was building between the spirit of Christ and Antichrist.

Jesus enters the temple complex, no doubt under the watchful eye of hired goons working on behalf of the religious establishment. He gazes across the unfolding panorama ot the tables of merchants selling scarificial animals at exhorbitant prices. He sees the exchange tables where Roman and other national currencies are exchanged for temple currency, again at an outrageous exchange rate.

He stood at the spiritual portal between Heaven and Earth. This was the spot in the material realm where the holy met the profane. It was to be a place of instruction where Israel was to be the light to the Gentiles and instructor to the seeker. Yet, it had become a filthy den of thieves who made a growth industry of shaking down the faithful in their worship. The Rabbi could stand no more and launched into holy anger. THe very icon of the Divine was now an expression of His divine wrath.

The religious establishment, being the ever good sports took the lesson to heart. Oh, they took it to heart alright, straight into their benighted hearts that is. The sharp rebuke that would have sent the faithful and contrite to their knees, sent these scribes and chief priests into a seething anger that would only be sated by the death of the Nazarene.

How do we respond to the discipline of the Holy?

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