Daily Catholic Readings – November 24, 2023
33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Psalter: Week 1
Readings of the Day
|Reading 1||1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59|
|Response||Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.|
|Gospel||Luke 19:45-48|Readings 1
1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59
36 Then said Judas and his brothers, “Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” 37 So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion.
52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors. 58 There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed.
59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.
1 Chronicles 29:10b, 11abc, 11d-12a, 12bcd (R. 13b)
R/. We praise your glorious name, O Lord.
Blessed are you, O Lord,
the God of Israel our father,
for ever and ever.R/.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the victory and the majesty,
for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours.
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord.R/.
You are exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come from you. R/.
You rule over all.
In your hand are power and might,
and in your hand it is to make great
and to give strength to all.R/.
V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia
V/. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me
45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” 47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
Central Point: Sense of the sacred and fear of God alone will lead to order and harmony in life
1. Jesus does a sort of temple cleansing. He appears rather violent and drives out all the marketing and shopping in the temple area. The driving motive behind this just anger is his passion for the sanctity of God’s holy house. How could the most Holy One of God compromise on desecrating what is consecrated?
2. The same can be the situation in the present times. One of the major tragedies of today’s society is temples that are consecrated are getting desecrated. This happens in both the senses and aspects of the temple.
3. First, the temple refers to the churches, the holy places of worship. Second, the temple refers to the human person himself. We read in 1 Corinthians 3. 16: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”.
4. Churches are houses of prayer, the unique place of God’s personal presence. But sadly, not seldom they are turned into centres and domains of secondary and shallow interests and transactions like the “den of robbers”.
5. They become auditoriums for organizational activities. They become stages for displays, platforms for socialization, and launching grounds for self-deliveries. The spiritual ambience which is crucial to a church is often missing.
6. Further, day by the human person is increasingly getting desecrated and polluted by many deviated and aberrant, destructive, and harmful thoughts, words, and actions. We need a thorough cleansing.
Suggestion: We need to recapture our sense and culture of communion with God in humble devotion and surrender. We need to regain our lost innocence and purity of heart and the human person