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Today’s Reading: Mark 11:15-25

15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons; 16 and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he taught, and said to them, “Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.

20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Master, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says willcome to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Today’s Commentary:

house of prayer: A reference to Is 56:7. Isaiah foresaw Yahweh gathering the Gentiles to share in the covenant worship of Israel. Jesus sees the corruption in the Temple courts as an affront to this oracle (CCC 584). The Temple’s outer courtthe area reserved for Gentile pilgrimshas become a marketplace where worship is now impossible. Ultimately, Isaiah’s vision of a Temple for all nations is fulfilled when Jesus makes a Temple of all nations in the Church.

den of robbers: An excerpt from Jer 7:11. In context , Jeremiah delivered a sermon in the Temple to warn Israel of God’s coming judgment upon Jerusalem. Because Israel failed to repent, Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Jesus similarly confronts Israelites who presume thattheir covenant relationship with God will remain secure despite their sin (Jer 7:8-15). Their impenitence will result in the Temple’s second destruction in A.D. 70.