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
Can Jesus be this angry? An anger that resulted 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 their birds and other animals sold in the temple. What an interesting scene to behold! I guess his disciples might have been shocked by the way he acted. Perhaps even the sellers and money changers never expected Jesus to act this way. Jesus took them by surprise.
Anger is usually an emotional passionate drive that in most cases takes control of us. Anger can control us to the extent of overshadowing our reasoning such that the aftermath of our reaction evokes regret at the end of the day. This can cause us to feel bad because we felt we should have acted differently. But it is a different thing when we are angry and at the same time in control of our anger. And when angry for the right reason or out of genuine love for others, this is a different kind of anger. This isn’t a sin. It is righteous anger.
It was love for these sinners 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. If love was missing; it is no longer righteous anger. It becomes a sin.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the passion to confront evil always and everywhere. Amen.