I’ve always had difficulty both praying with and preaching about today’s Gospel passage. I suppose that my default image of Jesus is found in his healings and in his words of peace, freedom and encouragement.

The scene of Jesus making a whip of cords and driving the sellers and money changers out of the temple is in sharp contrast to the usual image of Jesus. And yet, his strong statement is a significant element of his ministry. “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” Do I allow myself to acknowledge the anger of Jesus?

Buying and selling are regular features of temple life. They are, likewise, regular features of our Catholic parish life. I suppose that they are a necessary evil. Selling raffle tickets will raise needed funds for the parish. It’s far easier to sit at a table in the entry to the church, rather than rely on mail or other ways of buying and selling.

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