I, John, heard the voice that I had heard from heaven speak to me again, saying, "Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, "Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth." So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.
Then they said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings."
O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name. (R./)
Proclaim his help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples. (R./)
Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power,
give the Lord the glory of his name. (R./)
Proclaim to the nations: 'God is king.'
The world he made firm in its place;
he will judge the peoples in fairness. (R./)
Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer.' But you have made it a den of robbers."
Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
The temple in Jerusalem had been re-dedicated after being desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes. Then, years later, Jesus cleansed it again, after it was profaned by traders in the temple courts. We might reflect about ways in which our lives and our church could become fully a house of prayer, a temple fit for God's holy presence.
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out the merchants and traders. He was not against the temple rituals but against the abuse of religion for gain by merchants and chief priests, who cared for money more than for genuine worship.
For us, to purify the temple means to let God be central to our lives. All of our dealings and also our politics need to show justice and compassion. Every aspect of our daily lives can be purified and under God's grace. As we renew our faith in him, the words apply to us, "My house is a house of prayer." Every part of life, family, work and play, reflects the sincerity of our worship, with God enthroned in our hearts.