The Gospel Reading today says: 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." And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.
St. Paul says: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
(1 Cor. 6:19)
Therefore, my body shall be a house of prayer, not a den for thieves. My body is a place of holy and divine worship, not a shopping mall for forces selling whatever worldly goods that are available. The temple exists to glorify God alone, and not to peddle the wares of the world, or to accommodate the systems of power of this world.
The temple that I need Jesus to "cleanse" is the temple of my body, the temple of my life, the temple of my very being. Today I will look for where I am allowing forces that compete with God to sell their goods in my life.
The cleansing of the temple is a call for clarity in my life. Is the world encroaching in on me and determining how I view, understand, and relate to God, or is the God that dwells in me determining how I view, understand, and interact with the world? I am a temple of God, made to give God glory, and to chase out any way of living that is not worthy of the temple that I am.
Lord Jesus Christ,
come into the temple that is my body and my life;
drive out anything and everything that is selling things that do not belong in God's holy dwelling place.
overturn the tables of my prejudice, presumption, and presuppositions.
Drive out the "thieves" who would set up shop within me, and take the focus off of God and distract me from giving God the glory.
Remind me, Lord, that I am not for sale, that the temple that I am is not a place for sale, but that I have been bought at a high price, paid for with your blood.
Forgive me for allowing the world to set up shop in my temple,
Turn over their tables, drive them out,
and cleanse me by your saving power and make me a holy place within a sinful world.