“Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Today we move over to the early part of John’s gospel (2:13-25).  Here we have Jesus’ first broadly public action (preceded only by His miracle at the Cana wedding).  Jesus, going to Jerusalem as the Passover draws near, angrily drives out merchants and moneychangers in the temple area.  The Jews question His authority to do this, but He only responds: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (v. 19)  Astonishing to the inquirers, Jesus’ disciples will recall these words after the Resurrection.  Meanwhile, Jesus is getting many followers because of the signs He is performing, but He remains wary of human adulation and knows it can turn.  But let us focus on Jesus cleansing of the temple.  Certainly, He was zealous for His Father’s house.  He did not want to see it desecrated or disrespected.  Our attitude today should be the same.  How do we approach entering the Lord’s house in which He resides in the tabernacle?  Do we make an effort to recollect ourselves?  To arrive a bit early to prepare?  And if we do so, do we distract others with needless conversation, or do we allow them to speak to the Lord in peace as we should be doing?  Do we honor the Lord by entering well-groomed and dressed appropriately, forsaking ostentation and embracing modesty?  Are we sure to be attentive to all parts of the liturgy, listening intently and responding forthrightly, clearly, and with conviction?  Does this attentiveness extend to our posture or do we, by slouching, show our lack of interest?  Do we sing the Lord’s praises even if not blessed with the best voice?  Are we crisp with our actions, or is the genuflection more like a curtsy, and the sign of the cross akin to shooing away a fly?  Must we be the first one out of the parking lot, or are we happy to spend a few more minutes giving thanks for the great gift we received in Word and Eucharist?  Attention to all of these things more properly disposes us to receive grace — the more effort we put into it, the more God can work in us.  Does zeal for His house consume you?

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