The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
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.
Reflection (Sem. Danichi Hui):
After typhoon Yolanda destroyed the whole city of Tacloban and other nearby towns, the only visible structures of the past are the churches; though some were left roofless while others still stand as if nothing happened. But the real Church that was never destroyed and could never ever be destroyed by any strong typhoon is the faithful. The cathedral of Tacloban is now roofless but it remained a Church because the structure of it was not built out of stones but out of flesh. This human flesh is the same flesh which Jesus offered for our salvation and the reason why we have a Church to be called. We Christians composed the body of our Church from which Jesus is the head. That is why our regard does not only focus on the physical structure of the church but the inner structure of the faithful.
In the gospel for today, we hear Jesus get angry to the vendors in the temple area, for they do not regard it as a house of prayer rather a place where they can sell their goods. I wonder, after the typhoon and now seeing the flock of people inside the cathedral of Tacloban using it as a shelter a question might be posted regarding this; will Jesus be angry because the people are now using the “house of prayer” as their temporary house? Well in this case, I think not. The motivation of the vendors in the gospel is not the same as the motivation of the people now in Tacloban. They use the church as their refuge for they are helpless while the vendors of the past used the church as a means of profit. Our church is a house of prayer from where we seek refuge in times of difficulties and struggles. Jesus built our Church in order for us to be saved, and this is our faith. We know that our affiliation to our Church will cause us salvation and now it is not only spiritually being exhibited in Tacloban but also physically. I believe those who are in the cathedral right now are the faithful who really intend to go there not because it is only the remaining structure in the whole city, but because they believe that it is a place where they will not only feel safe but also be saved. Jesus built our Church to be our refuge and for our salvation and not as a means of personal survival.