“MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER!” LK 19:45-48
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
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. Lk 19:45-48
Jesus enters the holy city of Jerusalem today where Passover celebrations will take place. He will change the Passover to the first Mass on Holy Thursday with His Apostles. First, He must cleanse the temple and challenge the religious authority who has made His Father’s House a “den of thieves”. The Jews are getting kickbacks from the sellers in the Temple (much of what is being sold is from the poor). When Jesus pushes everyone out He really upsets the chief priests and scribes. They plot to kill Him.
How reverently do we enter God’s house, the Church? It’s important or essential to keep sacred places sacred. Something that every generation had to fight for or it passed away dying within the last one’s to keep the faith. Jesus stays hidden behind a piece of bread and in the wine so we do not disintegrate as we approach Him in the Church.
He sacrifices Himself for us hidden behind the bread and wine so that we may approach Him. As you enter the Church, take time to bless yourself with the Holy Water and remember your baptism (your venial sins are washed away). This water is different than other waters. Your sin is washed away and the gates of heaven are open for your soul because Jesus died on the cross and resurrected.
Take time to genuflect properly on your right knee recognizing Jesus is in the tabernacle. This is a sign of reverence, take it serious. Kneel before the God that created you and your Savior, praying in silence to prepare yourself for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Ask God for forgiveness and mercy in the Introductory Rite to prepare your soul to receive Jesus in the Word and in the Eucharist. Pay attention to the readings which you have read and reflected on before Mass. What is Jesus trying to tell you? His Word has transforming power! If a priest would have not suggested this to me, I would have never started writing these Scripture reflections.
Next, go through the 5 sorrowful mysteries from the time the gifts are taken up to the consecration. Use your imagination. God is bringing all of us back to the foot of the cross at the altar. After the words of consecration, you can say the words of St. Thomas the Apostle when Jesus returns after the Resurrection.
Thomas doubted that Jesus had resurrected so Thomas said he had to put his fingers in Jesus’ hands and his fist in Christ’s side. Jesus appears and Thomas puts his fingers in Christ’s hands and fist in His side. He then says the words, “My Lord, and My God”. I say these words at the consecration then I bow my head and tell Jesus I believe He is truly present. It reminds me He is physically present, Thomas touched the physical glorified body of Jesus.
Next, St. John Bosco recommends we think of our sins during the Eucharistic Prayer. We receive Jesus and our venial sins are forgiven, we have the grace to fight mortal sin stronger, we are unified with Christ (it doesn’t get any better than this) and the believers all over the world, and Jesus increases our anticipation for the Kingdom of heaven. Last, we should think of resolutions to the sin we struggle with and have offered up during Mass. We should also praise and thank God for all He has given us and offer it up with the gifts on the altar.
Last, Jesus gave us right worship. Mass isn’t boring, Jesus is dying on the cross and offering up all of our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings through Him to the Father. God doesn’t need us. He is complete in Himself. The Sacrifice of the Son to the Father is continually happening until His return so that we can stay connected to Him.
This everlasting covenant required God’s blood. Ponder that every Mass! He is not a slot machine that gives us what we want. “He is love straight through,” says Bishop Barron. He is waiting in every tabernacle in the world for us to come to Him, so He can give us this love and forgiveness. Then, we are called to go forth and do something with these wonderful graces and gifts we have received. Love is meant to be shared, it’s what made us!
Today’s challenge: Next time you go to Mass, try to remember where you are at and be reverent, you are in the house of God! How unworthy are we to enter but He allows us to and receive His Son in Word and Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! Bow each time you pass in front of the tabernacle unless you are serving or ministering in the sanctuary. Fight to keep sacred things sacred.
Be a servant, become a saint!