Luke 19:45-48 - Thy Kingdom Come (5). Black Friday in the Temple
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.
Jesus enters the Temple as the King entering His Palace. The quote he pronounced while crossing the threshold expresses the drama of this homecoming: “My house shall be a house of prayer.” Instead, He finds himself in an atmosphere of such ardent trade that he calls it a "den of thieves."
There is a clear parallel between the misuse of the Temple as “a den of thieves” and the mistreatment of Christ as a crucified criminal. The Palace, the King, the Kingdom: they were not recognized, were misused and, thus, rejected by the people. We have seen how Christ reacts to this mistreatment: Instead of imposing His might, He first taught about the Kingdom through His words and then assumed the Kingship of love and redemption through His death.
What are Christ’s words when crossing the threshold of my heart? Does He find a den of thieves there? Is He acknowledged as the rightful King? Is He even noticed? Or is He constricted to “teaching in the temple area,” while the real business of my heart is “buying things”? Is a day like today (Black Friday) far more interesting maybe than the coming Sunday (The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)?
Your heart has been anointed to be His temple at your Baptism. Recognize and welcome your King. Your life is part of His Kingdom. Thus, your heart “shall be a house of prayer,” and must, therefore, be kept pure and clean of things which do not belong there. Thy Kingdom Come!