November 9

Reflection

Is it not written, My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations?
But you have made it a den of thieves.
Mark 11:17

Jesus’ action-word combinations proclaim the already present kingdom of God against both the already present Roman imperial power and the already present Jewish high-priestly collaboration. Jerusalem had to be retaken by a nonviolent messiah rather than by a violent revolution, and the temple ritual had to empower justice rather than excuse one from it. What is involved for Jesus is an absolute criticism not only of violent domination, but of any religious collaboration with it. In that criticism, of course, he stands with the prophets of Israel such as Zechariah for the anti-imperial entry against violence and Jeremiah for the anti-temple action against injustice, but he also stands against those forms of Christianity that were used throughout the centuries to support imperial violence and injustice.
The Last Week, Marcus Borg

Prayer

One thing have I asked, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of God all the days of my life.
Psalm 27

Action

Consider where you see pious words connected to unjust actions in both public and religious arenas. How can you resist this?
If possible, read the exposition of this scripture story in Borg’s book.

Suggested Reading

Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
John 2:13-22

He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.
Thomas Fuller

When I saw corruption, I was forced to find truth on my own. I couldn’t swallow the hypocrisy.
Barry White

Many of us believe that wrongs aren’t wrong if it’s done by nice people like ourselves.
Author Unknown

All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance.
Theodore M. Hesburgh

In the last analysis we must be judged by what we do and not by what we believe. We are as we behave — with a very small margin of credit for our unmanifested vision of how we might behave if we could take the trouble.
Geoffrey L. Rudd

They are not all saints who use holy water.
English Proverb

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.
Winston Churchill

It’s not enough to attend church and pray every Sunday; you have to act.
Abbe Pierre

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