Daily Mass Readings: Sirach 44:, 9-13, Mark 11:11-26, Psalm 149:1-6, 9
Sirach 44:, 9-13
My Beloved, we get only one chance in life. The legacy we leave behind will be a curse or a blessing depending on how we lived it. Our children will continue to be godly if that is the way they were raised and according to the example they were given by their parents. Whenever we remember our Sandy we remember all that was good and beautiful about her nature. May all she suffered in union with You for the intentions only You know be answered.
Beloved there is so much these verses have to say. After Your triumphant entry into Jerusalem, You went straight into the temple. You knew exactly what was in store for You in the coming days and there was much to accomplish. You looked around the temple and what You saw did not please You. It was late, You and Your apostles needed to rest. So You went to Bethany where Your dear and trusted friends lived, Lazarus, Martha and Mary. You were always on the move - You did not allow Yourself to get too comfortable. You did not allow the flesh to be indulged. You could have just lapped up all the adulation and stayed in comfort - but that was not Your way neither is that the way of Your followers.
Once again we see how human You are. We read that You were hungry. When You encountered the woman at the well, You told her You were thirsty and at the grave of Lazarus and on seeing Jerusalem, Scripture tells us that You wept.
Your thirst was the thirst for souls, Your hunger is the hunger to do Your Father's will and bring about the salvation and redemption of a fallen humanity who so desperately needs it. Your tears were the tears of compassion for those who mourned and for the indifference of Your people who did not recognize the time of Your visitation.
How ofter we are so full of outward show, we are plump and green with all the trappings of piety. We are right in the thick of things and yet inside we are full of death and decay because we do not bear fruit for the Kingdom, fruit that will last and thus we are cursed unto death to be consumed by flames that neither consume nor go out. We are called to bear fruit all the time.
Once again You enter the temple in the morning and all that You had suspected the previous evening when You were in the temple is confirmed. The House of Prayer was turned into a place of business - a market place for buying and selling. For haggling and bargaining - a place defiled by commerce with an eye to making a profit rather than a place of worship. No wonder You were indignant - this was Your Father's house and even those who wanted to worship were hindered by the noise and commotion. John 2:15 says You made a whip of cords and drove out everyone from the temple court, buyers and sellers alike, overturning tables and scattering the coins, clearing the place of animals and birds as well. The priests and those in charge were livid. If they could, they would have killed You then and there, for they had turned a blind eye for gain and had allowed this travesty to go on as they too profited from this business.
Are our bodies and minds a market place for buying, selling and hoarding? Is all our time given to making a profit? What are my excuses for worshiping money, people or things? Do I realize that life on earth is over in the blink of an eye when compared to eternity? And that eternity has only two choices heaven or hell?
So few know their faith and care even less to know it. So many years are spent in gaining knowledge and skills to equip ourselves to make a living in the world that is passing and to buy the latest gadgets and gizmos which will become outdated tomorrow and create a hunger and thirst for the next fad. We are so ignorant in matters of the faith and so fall prey to all the charlatans in the world who seek to wipe out Your Name and Your existence because You challenge their conscience, their depravity and their way of life.
The Apostles saw that the fig tree You had cursed earlier had indeed died. It was then that You spoke to them about faith, prayer, and faith in prayer. You spoke about forgiveness and the necessity to forgive if we want to have our prayers answered. If we expect to be heard we must forgive or all our prayers and pleadings will remain unanswered.