Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Sanctification Of the Church

St. Mathew 21:12-17
He said to them, ‘‘It is written, ‘ My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers”( v.13).

What we see in this biblical portion is about the activities and practices in the church of Jerusalem which was against the will of God. What we observe here is the pungent response of God against these practices. They shattered all the moralities and the sanctification of the teachings of God and the Jewish religion by keeping appropriate silence to the activities of king Herod and by staying along with the ill teachings and practices of the Roman Empire. In addition to these, they had undertaken all the buildings and other materialistic possessions by creating a false notion that they were creating space or room for the pilgrims who were visiting Jerusalem. They also gave a spiritual make-over to the injustice. Besides this injustice, they also made provision to appoint officials from their own families to have authority over these buildings and possessions.

In short, the church of Jerusalem became a place of utter bribery, corruption, and autocracy. So, what we see in St. Mathew 21: 12-17 is the harsh response of Jesus Christ against these activities.

So, we can see that Jesus Christ is fighting against these indifferences not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. The ill teachings and practices which crept into the worship is being sanctified by the sanctification of the church. When man was along with God, the holy sacrament which took place inside the church was the sacrament of love and affection.

The words uttered with love the things beings shared, the responsibilities were undertaken with love etc., are examples of places that represent a church.

Thus, see how the church lost its soul with sanctity. I would like to draw your attention to two important points with regard to this:
1. The attitude of attaining all your needs and necessities.
2.  The competitive mentality which never ends.

In the name of spirituality, people enter into the church with such decisive ideas which ultimately result in the marketing of the church.
The first idea is to attain all your needs. Approaching God to satisfy your needs or your wish. A man of spirituality with such a decisive notion creates restlessness and lack of peace even in God. The mentality which exists in the marketplace is, how can I make a profit? In addition to that, the next idea is how much more can I accumulate? We approach God or church with the mentality of a seller or a buyer be it mental peace too. If the church needs to be a place of self-sacrifice, no doubt these marketing techniques of the church should come to an end.
The second idea is my constant strive for competition makes the church a marketplace. Market places become active when competition creeps in. So, if we approach the church with the same attitude, the church too becomes a place of competition i.e. market. The prosperity of the one sitting beside me in the church doesn’t make me happy instead would how can I grow one step ahead of him is my thought when I am in the church. This is our competitive mind which makes us think so. In market places what we see is the mere profit-making mind which grows out of selfishness, instead of in churches what we need to see is the depth of relationships that grow profusely out of selflessness. What we really need is a holy place where there is no profitmaking, no hidden agendas or ideas, or no hidden motives. The holy church should be a place of liveliness, peacefulness, cheerfulness, and above all place of sharing and caring.
I would like to conclude my meditation reminding you of the words of St. Paul. Your body is the holy temple of God. Therefore, our body is not an inn. Let us not make the holy place a bin or pollute it with all the impurities by acting against the will of God. Let us bear in mind that, while we indulge in spiritual activities, the church is a place that cannot be left behind.  So, what we need to experience in the Church is the holy presence of God and not the profit-making attitude of a   marketer.

Almighty God, Help us purify our hearts to do Thy will and become sanctified for the sanctification of the society and the Church. Amen.

Thought for the day
The church and our body are places of God’s dwelling. They are not mere inns. So, it is our sole responsibility to keep both these places in sanctity.

Rev. Jijo T. Mutheri

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