“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Yesterday’s reading (Mark 11:11-26) has Jesus and the apostles in Jerusalem, then retiring to Bethany for the night, returning to Jerusalem in the morning. On the way Jesus curses a fig tree.  Arriving at the temple Jesus drives out the buyers, sellers, and money changers, raising the ire of the chief priest and scribes who were looking for a way to kill Him.  Leaving there they come across the fig tree, now dead.  Jesus uses this to express the importance of faith in work and prayer and the importance of forgiveness of others so that one can receive forgiveness from God.  After the scene in the temple, Jesus says the words at top to the Twelve.  Two important things to consider here.  First, Jesus dwelling is to be a “house of prayer.”  Today, Jesus, in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, really resides in tabernacles the world over.  We must always respect these dwellings.  Properly acknowledging the Lord’s presence through our actions (Sign of the Cross, genuflecting, kneeling, good posture), proper attire (beach wear and concert tees stay outside), silence (or if necessary, whispered tones, avoiding idle talk), and disposition (humble and prayerful) should be habit.  Prayer is no more powerful then when in front of the Real Presence.  Do not neglect it at Sunday Mass, and take advantage of it as much as possible throughout the week.  Second, this house is meant “for all peoples.”  Welcome everyone into your church.  May their first (and every subsequent) encounter be a Christlike one.  Never shun or avoid anyone in Church for any reason, but always reflect the love of God.  And invite others to join you for Mass: those new to town, those who have been away, those who belong to another faith tradition, those who are searching.  Our desire should be to bring everyone to an encounter with the fullness of Truth, which is the Body of Christ.

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