Today, when Easter is approaching, some unusual event has happened at the Temple. Jesus has driven the merchants and their animals out of the Temple court, has knocked over the tables of the money-changers and has ordered the people selling doves “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” (Jn 2:16). And while the oxen and the sheep were stampeding across the esplanade, the disciples discovered a new aspect of Jesus’ soul: the zeal for his Father's House, the zeal for God's Temple.
The Temple of God becoming a market place! What an atrocity! They probably started with a few animals, a shepherd trying to sell some sheep, or an old woman who wanted to make a few coins by selling doves… and the ball kept growing and growing. Stop, cried the Song of Songs' author: “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that damage the vineyards; for our vineyards are in bloom!” (Song 2:15). But here, nobody could care less! The Temple esplanade was like a market on market day.
—I am a temple of God, too. If I do not watch, these little foxes, pride, sloth, gluttony, envy, avarice, forms of disguise selfishness… will sneak in and damage everything. This is why the Lord warns us: “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch’!” (Mk 13:37).
Watch!, so that apathy does not invade our conscience: “Being incapable of acknowledging guilt is the most dangerous form of spiritually arrested development one can imagine, because this in particular makes people incapable of improvement” (Benedict XVI).
Stay vigilant? —I try to every night… Did I offend someone? Are my intentions righteous? Am I willing to fulfill always and in everything God's will? Have I assumed some practice that may displease our Lord? But, late at night I am too tired and sleepy to think…
—Jesus, you know me well, you know quite well what each man's mind is like, so make me realize my own faults, give me strength and a little bit of that zeal of yours so that I can also drive out from the temple all that might appear to separate me from you.