Jesus wasn’t opposed to money or commerce but he was opposed to their misuse in the dwelling place of his Father. His anger was aimed at the profiting from idolatry.
Do you remember your most embarrassing moment? The time you tripped on stage during a play? How about the day you threw up on a date?
Psychologists say that negative memory weighs heavily. Your great aunt can say all kinds of nice things about you, but you can still remember the day fifteen years ago when she said something critical. If you have/had loving parents, you still probably remember the few times they absolutely blew up. If they were the enraged-all-the-time types, you will not remember because that was the norm.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus gets really mad. Turning over the tables in the temple must have not been his norm. All four Gospels have an account of Jesus driving out the money changers. Years later, when his actions and his words were being recorded, they remembered this event of fury and every one of them wrote it down. Jesus wanted better: THIS IS MY FATHER’S HOUSE,” he cried. “MAKE IT RIGHT!”
Could Jesus be both sinless and angry?
If we see someone mistreating a child, we get really hot inside. We want better. If we are treated as an object - as nothing, as worthless, fire burns within us. We want better. Moral theologians tell us that emotions carry no sin in and of themselves. What we do with our emotions - that is the moral responsibility. Injustice should make us angry. Indignation must move us to action.
Jesus wanted better. I heard someone say to me, “God takes the first commandment very seriously.” When the Lord gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, he said, “You shall have no other Gods besides me.” Guess what he meant it.
SO THE QUESTION: HOW DO WE SAFEGUARD REVERENCE FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP?