In this Sunday’s Gospel, we read of Jesus one and only incident where He gets angry and chases the merchants and money-changers and animals out of the temple of Jerusalem. His disciples remember scripture which said “Zeal for thy house will consume me”.
What they did not know at that time was that this is foreshadowing of the change in worship that Jesus was instituting. God does not need our oxen or sheep or pigeons or any animal sacrifice, or even our money. Apparently by AD70 after the death of Jesus, the temple was destroyed by the Romans and temple worship came to an end.
All the exorbitant taxes imposed on money exchange and the trading of unblemished animals certified for worship were gone from Jewish worship. All that was left was the Synagogue, which is a place for worshipping God, and reading the Torah.
In the mind of the writer, Jesus was bringing about a new form of worship. The true worship of God is to worship Him in spirit and in truth, going beyond ritual sacrifices.
When the Jews asked Him for a sign on why He could drive out all those people, He again gave a prophetic answer of how if they destroy the temple, He will raise it up in three days.
“When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”
In fact it is quite extraordinary that Jesus himself was to be the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. And therefore we commemorate this event continuously in our daily masses and this thus becomes our new form of worship.
Let us therefore always keep the reverence for our masses and worship, and the zeal for thy house.