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Jesus cleansing the temple

In today’s Scripture there seemed to be a common thread of how sweet the Word of God is to the faithful.  In Rv 10:8-11, we read about the angel handing John the scroll (the Word of God) and ordering him to “Take and swallow it.  It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”  The prospect of heaven is sweet, but the suffering we experience on our way there can be upsetting.  

In today’s Psalm, Ps 119:103, we read, “How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  

In the Alleluia, Jn 10:27:  “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  Sheep are comforted by the words of a trusted shepherd.

And in the Gospel, Lk 19:45-48, the chief priests, scribes and Jewish leaders sought a way to put Jesus to death after he exercised His authority and cleansed the temple by driving out the money changers – “but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on His words.”  Jesus was feeding the people with something far sweeter than anything the Pharisees had been providing!

A new prophet was in town.  Not just any prophet, but the one the people were calling the Messiah!  Don’t you know this drove the Jewish leaders crazy!  They were being ignored.  They were losing control.  Jesus was a threat to their power.  

Not much has changed in two thousand years.  World political leaders have consistently been frustrated over Christians who choose to follow Jesus, the Word of God, rather than capitulate to the philosophies and cultures they try to impose.  Today, you don’t have to travel away from home to experience the sour stomach effects of what’s being shoved down our throats:  abortion up to and including the moment of birth, rampant promotion of transgenderism and euphoric celebration of the LGBTQA movement, the redefinition of marriage, the erosion of religious freedom and hosts of other misguided policies that tear down accepted morality and the institution of the family in the pretense that government knows best.  

Making it particularly difficult for us Catholics are the various leaders within our government who claim to be devout Catholics yet are on the front lines of promoting these immoralities.  Faithful and humble believers are a threat to their agenda, a pain in the rear to the pride that drives their desire for power and control.  Desperate people do desperate things and theirs are true acts of desperation.  Their level of frustration with all of us who follow the voice of our Good Shepherd must be reaching a crescendo because, from all observations, they are working hard to do the devil’s work. 

We must remember to let the evil born of their frustration be theirs and theirs alone.  As virtuous Christians, the Church Militant, we receive through prayer the grace to take these issues which we don’t like and haven’t chosen and work to peacefully change what we can. But, for those issues out of our control, we need to pray for that same grace to live lives of virtue, maintain interior peace, and hang on His words – the only medicine that will soothe the indigestion of life and transform our frustration into acceptance that all will be well for those who love and trust Jesus. 

Let it be Jesus to whom we listen! Let it be the sweetness of God’s Word we savor rather than the immoral philosophies of the misguided leaders of the world. We will be victorious and it will drive them crazy!

“Lord Jesus, Your sweet words hold the promise of everlasting life.  I pray for the conversion of all misguided souls. And, I pray for the grace to be an effective disciple maker, to help change the world by feeding hungry souls on the sweetness of Your Word.  Amen.” 

(The Sweetness of the Word in a Sour World was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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