November 21, 2014
Eileen Wirth
Creighton's Department of Journalism
click here for photo and information about the writer


Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 501

Revelation 10:8-11
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111,131
Luke 19:45-48

Praying Ordinary Time

“Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them ‘It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves.’” Luke

I was in a courtyard of the temple to listen to Jesus teach when I heard a commotion. Suddenly I saw him overturning the tables of the merchants and money- changers. He was screaming at them and charging after them.

“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves,’” Jesus yelled.

I was shocked. I’ve been following Jesus since I accidentally got caught in the crowd at the Sermon on the Mount, a day that changed my life. Jesus spoke about who is blessed and what we must do to live a life pleasing to God as if he were God. Could he be our long-awaited Messiah?

Some people think I am crazy for following a prophet who consorts with women adulterers, tax collectors and lepers. But one day I saw him tell a paralyzed man to get up and walk and he’s worked a miracle of sorts in my own heart.  It’s tough to think of Samaritans as my neighbors but I’m trying.

Back to the temple: no one can remember anything like this and the authorities are furious because they make a fortune on those businesses. I’m all for kicking them out of our holiest site but I’m trying to reconcile this angry Jesus with the man who tells us to turn the other cheek. He was so powerful – like Jehovah himself cleansing the temple.  More than ever I wonder if Jesus is our messiah.

Our prophets have always angered the authorities. Poor John the Baptist lost his head for less than this. I’m sure the authorities will retaliate.  But now I have to ask myself what it means to follow Jesus since it’s obvious he’s serious about what he says. 

I’m afraid that we’ll also have to risk angering the authorities and that we might have to suffer some consequences.  But if I believe in Jesus, as I do, what choice do I have?

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