22 Nov 2019:My house shall be called the house of prayer

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Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
Readings 1Mc 4:36-37, 52-59 Lk 19: 45-48

“My house shall be called the house of prayer but you have turned it into a bandits den.” A place becomes the house of prayer when it is consecrated. A thing becomes reserved for divine purpose when it is consecrated. A consecrated thing or place when used for purposes other than that would lead to desecration. In the Gospel passage, the temple and its premises which are consecrated to God are used for secular or for business purposes thus profaning the sacredness of the place. It is the same with a chalice, paten, alb, stole or other liturgical vestments or things. But in all these we can easily point of the misuse. But how often we forget that we humans are also consecrated? We are set apart for holy things by the Holy Spirit at the time of our baptism and later on at confirmation. As St. Paul says, “You are the temples of the Holy Spirit.” But how many times have we used ourselves for profane and secular things? Through our own actions we have made our bodies a den of robbers. But we often ignore it because we are not aware of the fact that we are set aside for God through consecration. The one who cleansed the temple of Jerusalem was Jesus. It is the presence of Jesus that cleanses everything. Like whipping and putting out the tables, he may come with harsh methods to cleanse. But he will cleanse us from all our uncleanliness. Hebrews 9: 13-14: “If the blood of goats and bulls with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of him who through the eternal spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God.” Let us invite Jesus into our hearts, so that he may purify us, those who are consecrated. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (I Peter 2: 24)

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