And he said to them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer...
Every time I read the account of Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the temple, Mary, I am moved by His amazing courage and by His mastery over that frenzied mob.
But even more than all of that, I'm touched by His soul-deep, inviolable reverence for God's house.
Surely He knew that His dynamic act would trigger a reaction that would lead to His arrest. Yet He loved His Father's house so much that He could not, would not, allow it to be desecrated.
Did you watch the spectacle of that temple cleansing, Mary? If you did I'm sure you sensed what most bystanders missed---
that Jesus was not fighting for a building, but pleading for reverence for all things holy.
Did you teach Him that, Mary? When He was a little child, did you take Him to the temple and sit with Him in silent prayer?
Did your voice take on a hallowed hush whenever you spoke of God to your Son?
At night, when you tucked Him into bed and He begged for a story, did you tell and retell the one about your visit from the Angel Gabriel before He was born?
Surely you helped to foster that abiding reverence that never left Him.
It must have been this same holy awe that drew Him back to the temple that day when He was twelve years old and you thought He was lost.
How frantic you must have been, Mary! What terrible feelings of failure you must have felt when you thought you'd lost God's precious Son!
There have been times when I feel as though I've lost Him, too. . .
times when my prayers seem to echo back at me from empty silence, when my spirit feels dead within me,
when I stay away from my Heavenly Father's house because I can't feel His presence there.
I think now, that the cause has always been in the vestibule of my own inner temple,
where greed and false values set up tables,
turning my attention toward worldly things and away from my Lord.
How very thankful I am for your masterful Son, Mary! When my life gets cluttered up with worldly concerns,
I can call His name, and He comes striding in and overthrows the tables.
Then my inner temple becomes a house of prayer once more.
Oh my Jesus, fearless Fighter against all evil,
cast out the money-changers in me, and restore my sense of holy awe.