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
1) Prayer life: We must start working on our prayer life again. As a church, those of us who are involved in the parish groups have neglected the prayerful life and we have become more involved in social projects. For example, we work with the poor, raise money for charity, find donations for the needy, and that is all good; perfect; but, we need more prayer! Remembering the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, I was surprised that when they used to go to a different country or a new city, they did not ask for anything… nothing, except for a priest who could give them the Eucharist. It was the only thing they asked for. They did not ask for money, or a house, or a car … because they were clear that their job was not to care for the sick, but rather to find Jesus in the sick. Mother Teresa said that you can only work with Jesus in the sick “on your knees.” Because no matter how many social projects you do, if you do it without prayer and without spending intimate time with God, it just remains a kind action, like a NGO. Our social work should arise after an encounter with Jesus. With Jesus, our work stops being only social, and becomes evangelizing. The spiritual presence is what helps you so that in each action with your brother you can feel GOD in you. If the spiritual aspect is not there, sooner or later that social work will weigh you down and you will end up saying: “I can no longer put up with them, I no longer have time for them”. It is not that your charity or the love for your brother has been lost, what it has been lost is your spirituality and your encounter with Jesus in your brother.
2) Sacred Worship: A few days ago I saw on TV how a group of people in Chile got together to clean up the church that people had destroyed in the demonstrations. That made me happy because I love seeing people committed to their faith, but I also wondered what do we do for our own worship? It may sound like if I am asking for something, but I am just asking: “What are your contributions to your church?” I am not referring to economic contributions, but for your time, that moment in which you can give your contribution. Perhaps offering yourself once a week to go a little earlier to light the candles, or perhaps to clean the benches. I don’t know … think about the fact that you are a participant in the divine cult as a parishioner… how can you help ? Although we Latinos tend to think that the Parish electricity bills are paid for by the state, this does not happen anymore. This hurts us, and Catholics often disregard many issues referring to to the church. Let me tell you that many of us have to juggle the bank account to pay the electricity and water bills for the parish every month. What I’m saying is that you should make an effort to be attentive to the worship of God, to the Mass, to the Eucharist… even if it is to help by lighting the candles or doing a reading when you go to mass or simply make yourself available. A good contribution can also be to pray for your priest. Pray for the one who is near your house celebrating mass ; also pray for those people who do not have priests in their community.
3) Authentic: Jesus is authentic and sets limits. He gets angry when he sees the situation in the temple; there are still situations like this today. Often, because we want to look good in front of everyone, we sell our beliefs; our criteria. Today God invites you to take care of your values; your principles; and if someone wants to manipulate your life (which is the most sacred thing you have), do not let them. Learn how to draw the line; learn how the to set limits with what is non-negotiable. Your life is worth a lot, more than the temple, because you are a child of God !
God-bless you in the name of the Father, and Son, and the Holy Spirit. Remember, heaven is our goal.