ST ANDREW DUNG LAC, P. & COMPANIONS, M. (MEMORIAL) Red
He was a Vietnam diocesan priest who suffered martyrdom together with the Vietnamese Christians during the 17th through 19th centuries. They were 117 martyrs. 96 Vietnamese; 11 Spanish and 10 French missionaries. They were canonised along with 8 bishops; 50 priests and 59 lay people by Pope John Paul II on June 19, 1988.
First Reading: 1 Mac 4:36-37. 52-59; Psalm: 1 Chr 29. R. v. 13b; Gospel: Lk 19:45-48
REVERENCE FOR GOD’S TEMPLE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Lk 19:46).
If Jesus entered our Churches in this present day, he will do something worse than flogging because many Churches in our world today have been desecrated by evil practices. God’s house of prayer have become a commercial centre, theatre of drama, deceptive ground, den of thieves, harbour for false prophets, and a centre of scandal. And it is disreputable to learn that this evil is mainly perpetuated by those who are supposed to be upholders of faith and morals.
Obviously, there are still many Churches maintaining the sacredness fitting for God’s house through the shepherding of holy pastors. But we cannot deny the numerous aberrations that abound in some other Christian Churches today. Jesus did not regard the small section of people who desecrated the temple as inconsequential. Jesus quickly chased them away with his whip because one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel. This swift action of Jesus informs us that the sacredness of God’s house must never be tampered with. Exploitation of God’s people in whatever form especially in the house of God is an evil that Jesus condemns vehemently.
Today, we can all join Jesus to cleanse the house of God by knowing our faith and practising it. By doing what is right and good and opposing what is wrong and misleading. By not being too gullible but reasonable on the things we hear, accept and digest. These are the whips we need to cleanse the house of God. Recall that Jesus did not only chase out those who were selling but also those who bought from them. When we subscribe to what is wrong in the house of God we become accomplices in defiling God’s house. Even a passive attitude towards what is wrong makes us complicit to that very bad action. Just like Jesus, we can pick up our whips today to chase out the evil prevalent in God’s house.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, instil in us the grace of holy fear. Amen.