“They celebrated the dedication of the altar and offered burnt offerings with gladness.”
A reading from the First Book of Maccabees (1 Maccabees4:36-37.52-59)
In those days: Judas and his brothers said, “Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion. Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built. At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. All the people fell on their faces and worshipped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors. There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed. Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty—fifth day of the month of Chislev.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM 1 Chr 29: 10.11abc.11d-12a.12bcd (R. 13b)
R/. We praise your glorious name, O Lord.
Blessed are you, O Lord,
the God of Israel our father,
for ever and ever. R/.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power,
and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty;
for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours;
yours is the kingdom, O Lord. R/.
You are exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come from you. R/.
You rule over all.
In your hand are power and might;
and in your hand it is to make great
and to give strength to all. R/.
ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
You have made my house a den of robbers
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 19:45-48)
At that time: Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.
The Gospel of the Lord.
A cleansing of our individual temples is also important before we can experience God. We can apply Jesus’ gesture to ourselves. Our relationship with him is something that has to be worked out, moulded, fashioned, and sometimes even hammered out. A sober questions to ask is: what would Jesus do if he came into the temple of my heart? Would he be happy that it is kept clean and used for the right purpose, or angry that it is polluted by sin and turned into a cesspit of vices? Let us make a firm decision today to keep the temple of our body clean by frequenting the sacrament of penance and nourishing our lives with the eternal word of God.