The Gospel reading from the Mass for Friday for the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 19:45-48.

While the people shouted with joyous acclaim as Christ entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Christ was moved to great sorrow; He weeps as He prophesizes the coming destruction of the Temple and the slaughter of multitudes of Jews (in 70 A.D. Christ’s prediction comes true when over 1 million Jews were slaughtered by the Romans to put down a rebellion).  As He enters the Temple, Christ finds the Temple corrupt as foretold 500 years earlier (Mal 3:1-2).

Due to the growing number of Jewish pilgrims, it had become “big business” to provide animals and exchange foreign currency for the Temple tax; the priests and many men profited from the lucrative business, even allowing the sacrilege of buying and selling inside the Temple in the outer court. Christ’s love of His “Father’s house” was strong from an early age (Luke 2:41-52) and moved by righteous indignation, Christ, whip in hand, forcefully drives out the merchants and animals from the large outer court area (35 acres/26 football fields), rightfully calling them “thieves” (Jer 7:11).

Christ then defends the Temple from further sacrilege. He condemns the corruption of Israel for failing to offer worthy prayer (Isa 56:7) and desecrating His Temple. The Jewish leaders who profited from the corrupt Temple commerce scheme conspire to kill Christ but are afraid to take action because the crowd “hung on His words.”

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ defends His Father’s house.  Son of Man, Christ courageously clears out a large hostile crowd of “robbers” from the acres-large outer Temple area; His physical presence and righteous anger was powerfully intimidating. Divine Prophet, Christ echoes both Isaiah and Jeremiah, saying the words He inspired them to write.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) The outer Temple area was very large (35 acres) and filled with cut-throat merchants (robbers) who had much to lose. Marvel at Christ’s intimidating persona and physical presence and His fierce defense of the Holiness of God in the Temple (CCC 583-586).

2) Sadly, in many parishes today, there is a Sacrilegious (CCC 2118, 2120, 2139) lack of awe and honor for Christ, who resides in the Tabernacle; casual or immodest dress, chatter before, during and after mass, irreverent music, casual reception of the Eucharist, etc. Renew your understanding of the need for Deep Reverence of the Eucharist (CCC 1384-1390,1415,1418, 2628) and pray for Christ to help you and all men have the zeal to show respect for and defend the honor of Christ’s Real Presence.

3) Evil men schemed and murdered the Son of God; Catholic men should not be surprised by and prepare for persecution in all its various forms (bigotry, calumny, legal coercion, imprisonment, violence, murder). Reflect on Persecution (CCC 530, 675, 1435, 1716, 2303) and pray for Christ’s intervention to help you protect and expand His Kingdom in the face of these evils.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries