DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA (Feast) White
The foundation of the Lateran Basilica goes back to the time of Constantine the Emperor of Rome. The palace of the Laterani belonged then to Constantine’s wife Fausta. After Constantine’s conversion, he gave it to the Pope as his private residence and founded the Church of the Lateran which became the mother of all the Churches of Rome and the world. It was dedicated to Christ our Saviour by Pope St Silvester on November 9, 324.
First Reading: Ez 47:1-2. 8-9. 12; Psalm: 46 R. v. 5; Second Reading: 1Cor 3:9c-11.16-17; Gospel: Jn 2:13-22
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Jesus was clearly very angry in the gospel of today; which led to a seemingly violent action. Jesus drove the money changers with a whip made of cords. We can imagine the weight of his strokes as he flogged them in anger and chased them out of the temple. He overturned their table of money and freed the animals sold in the temple. It must have been an interesting scene to behold. I guess his disciples might have been shocked by the way he acted. Perhaps, the sellers and money changers never expected Jesus to act this way also. Jesus took them by surprise.
Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance and displeasure that often overwhelms us. Anger can control us to the extent of beclouding our reasoning such that the aftermath of our reaction evokes regret at the end of the day. This could cause some feeling of sadness realising we could have acted differently. It takes a lot of discipline to tame the feeling of anger. But when we are angry for the right reason or out of genuine love for others; this is a different kind of anger because there is no intention to hurt anyone. This is righteous anger.
It was love that propelled Jesus to act the way he did. Jesus’ action was a vehement condemnation of what was evil and sinful. It was a kind of discipline a father gives to his child not because he hates the child but to caution the child. We are challenged today by Jesus to frown at evil and to confront exploitation. There are some evil actions that need no diplomacy to confront them. We can’t plead with a child not to drink a cup of poison when we can smack the cup off the child’s hand. Sometimes we just need to be direct and hard to show how so evil an action is. But this must be motivated by love for the one chastised; else it ceases to be righteous anger and becomes a sin.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the passion to confront evil always and everywhere. Amen.