A House of Prayer

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In the first reading today from 1 Maccabees 4, we read about the origins of Hanukkah. Do you know what that Jewish feast, celebrated to this day, is all about? Read and find out! In the Gospel reading from Luke 19, we see Jesus throwing the merchants out of the temple area. He says to them, "It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."

Lots of things happen in a church. I'm privileged to do presentations at churches, where people talk, socialize, clap and even buy my books, usually in the narthex or elsewhere. So I sometimes feel a tension about this passage. But this is outside the context of the Liturgy.

The Mass is the highest form of prayer for Catholics. Therefore, we need to be sure to treat the church as a house of prayer. One of my pet peeves is people talking loudly and socializing while people are praying before or after (or even during) Mass. Let's always remember these words of Jesus and be courteous to those in prayer. Surely our conversations can wait until we get outside.

Father, help us to always be prayerful, and to remember your house if first and foremost a house of prayer. Amen.

Today's Readings

1 comment

  • Carl: November 20, 2021

    Amen Gus! I immediately thought of three men who sit in the front row at daily Mass. All are nice enough guys, but had the bad habit of visiting with each other both before and after Mass. When the new pastor arrived, he “reminded” everyone that some people like to pray before and/or after Mass – and that all conversations should be conducted in the gathering space or outside.

    One of them understood, but the other two were a bit miffed. Just goes to show that it is not just those who attend infrequently who may not know how to behave.

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