Okay, so why was Jesus so angry when he entered the Temple area in our gospel reading today? Another question might be:
“Why were there so many money changers and dove sellers and sheep merchants in the Temple in the first place?” Well, it was the time for the biggest festival of the year: the Passover. And actually those folks might have been present to provide valuable services at the feast. They exchanged money for foreign visitors; they made it very convenient for the people to buy animals for the Temple offerings (albeit at exorbitant prices).
So why did Jesus make a whip and chase them out? It seems he was quite irritated by the fact that the money men and the livestock sellers were blatantly making his Father’s house “into a den of thieves.” He was very upset that they were openly disrespecting the House of God. He was angry, yes, but with a just reason. Some scholars call this “righteous anger.”
Are there times in our lives too when we are enraged by some injustice we have experienced ourselves or witnessed others being treated unfairly?
Does our internal temperature rise when we or others are taken advantage of?
Do our faces turn beet red and our blood pressure go through the roof when we are abased or put on the “hot seat?” And every one of us may have felt that our anger was justified.
Anger in itself is not inherently a bad thing. Certainly it can be, but anger can also cause us to act in a way that could actually change the world we live in; make it a better place. Anger can actually be a good thing. It all depends on how we express that anger. Jesus could have just as well left the offenders alone and choose to not chase them out If their motivation had been
authentic. But again, “He did not need anyone to testify to him about human nature. He himself understood it well.”
A peaceful and profitable second half of Lent to all of you,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC