The Gospel passage today expresses a key juncture in the story of Jesus. Jesus enters the temple of Jerusalem and rids it of those people selling things. They have turned his “house of prayer” into a “den of thieves.” Jesus’ bold and commanding action is a preface for what follows: his teaching in the temple area. But the enemies of Jesus were unable to nab him to put him to death because the people “hung on his words.” Only later would they be able to arrest him and put him to death.
What a wonderfully curious expression – they “hung on his words.” Ultimately he would be rejected by the people, but for now they seemed to be hearing what he had to say. We are in a privileged position of knowing that their “hanging on his words” was only temporary. But, the important element is that Jesus has come to Jerusalem. The long journey with his disciples from their ministry in Galilee to Jerusalem has now been accomplished. What occurs there (his passion, death and resurrection) is the very fulfillment of his life’s vocation: to lay down his life so that we can live.
I need to ask myself about the quality of my “hanging” on Jesus’ words. The people in the temple area heard, but only temporarily. For a while they prevented the authorities from capturing Jesus and bringing him down. I, like them, have heard, but will it last?
My challenge, then, is to keep “hanging in” with Jesus and his ever-new word that continues to invite me into his own special life. That invitation comes to me in the every-day happenings of my life and is the most crucial element of my life’s story, my history. Jesus, the Incarnation, the one who “dwelt among us” during his lifetime, wants to continue to “dwell” with us in the contours of our lives.
Lord, I pray that I can be ever open to letting your words and actions transform my life. Let your life, death and resurrection be the center of my life in all its ups and downs. Continue to teach me your ways and let me “hang on” to you each day as the very source of my life.
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