In today’s first reading, from the Book of Exodus, God gave the Israelites the Ten commandments to remind them that worshipping Him entails loving Him and loving our neighbors. It is this love for God as explained in these words, “Zeal for your house will consume me,” that drove Jesus to kick out those buying and selling in the temple area and overturn the money changers tables, because they were making His Father’s house a marketplace. If Jesus was in our midst today, He would definitely do the same thing as He did in today’s gospel reading, he will make a whip out of cords and drive all of us out of this Church. Why? Because we lack the zeal for His house, and we lack true faith in Him.

A story was once told about a man who had a dream, and in his dream, he was taken to a Eucharistic celebration by an angel. During the Mass, he could see the choir singing, but he couldn’t hear any sound from them. He could see the pianist playing the piano, but he could not hear any sound coming out of the piano. He could see the congregation singing and responding at Mass, but he could not hear them. He could see the priest speaking, but no sound came out of his mouth. He was confused and asked the angel, why can’t I hear anything. And the angel responded, there is nothing to hear, there is a lot of action and activities, but there is no true worship going on.

My dear friends, we have turned our Church and our Sacraments into a fan fair and a show, to please people rather than please and worship God. We show up for Mass just to fulfill our Sunday obligations that we came to Mass, but we are not here to encounter God, and we are not truly worshipping God. We show up for Mass to entertain people through our various ministries, with our looks, mannerisms, gifts, talents, and even with our wealth and affluence. Some of our clergy have turned the Mass into a show to entertain people so as to receive their praises and applause. Some of our choirs and music ministers have turned the Mass into a musical concert or performance instead of an accompaniment for true worship. Some of our ministers have turned their ministries to show off who is in charge or their power, influence, authority or importance in the parish.

Let us not forget God’s love for us and how He continues to bless us. Remember it is our duty as Catholic Christians to be consumed by the Zeal for God’s house because:

  • It is in His House, in the Sacrament of Baptism, that we are given the gift of new life, the eternal life of the risen Christ, as our original sin is cleansed and we are welcomed into His Family;
  • It is in His House, in the Sacrament of Confession, that we are given the opportunity to begin again and experience God's mercy and forgiveness when we fall, as our sins are forgiven us and we are restored to grace;
  • It is in His House, in Holy Eucharist, that we make living contact with Jesus, the gift of the Father, the gift of love and the gift of peace, as we are gathered at His table, and fed with His Body and Blood;
  • It is in His House, in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, that we are healed of our infirmities by receiving the Holy Spirit's gifts of strength, faith, peace, and courage, and our suffering is united with the suffering of Christ for the building up of the Church;
  • It is in His House, in the Sacrament of Confirmation, that we grow as followers of Jesus, and are bestowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the courage and strength to become His soldiers;
  • It is in His House that couples are given the graces and gifts needed to fulfill their commitment to one another and to live out their marriage in a way that is pleasing to God in the Sacrament of Matrimony;
  • It is in His House that the Holy Spirit imparts that tremendous and almost unbelievable power to the priest, to call Jesus Christ Himself down upon the altar in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

My dear brothers and sisters, let the zeal for God’s house consume us and propel us into the world today, to preach, teach and live out the Word of God like Jesus Christ did.