21 November 2008 Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Revelation 10, 8-11; Luke 19, 45-48 Teaching
In the Gospel, Jesus now arrives in Jerusalem and cleanses the Temple. All four Gospels mentioned this incident: Jesus drove out “those who were selling things.” If we take some of the stories of the four Gospels, many of the merchandise were needed in Temple worship. There were money changers since the currency from different places were different. They were like our present-day money exchange booths. Naturally, businesses would sprout around the temple; the way vendors and little tiangges would bloom around pilgrimage churches.
The cleansing of the temple is a preparation for the true teacher to take his seat in the place intended for him. Jesus readies himself and made the Temple as the center of his preaching. Jesus took his place as the authoritative teacher of the Temple. He taught in the temple during the day, and before He retired, he prayed on the Mount of Olives.
What can we learn from the Gospel? We are missioned to preach the Gospel. In the first reading from Revelation, John, the seer, was asked to “prophesy once again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” In baptism, we were given the responsibility of a prophet. Prophets promote change due to their messages and actions.
But prophets take their inspiration from prayer. It is in prayer that they encounter God. Unless they pray, they would not know what to preach. Thus in ancient times, prophets were regarded in society; they promoted change through their messages and actions. Just as Jesus retired and prayed in the Mount of Olives, we too should get our strengths needed in our daily lives from prayer; we should form our character according to how we know God well.
How do we know God? By reading, meditating and praying using Scripture. By contemplating the life of Jesus, the Son Himself. Mary, whose presentation in the temple is celebrated today, preached in the different form: her life itself bears witness to the Christian message.