On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Tomorrow, we celebrate Palm Sunday, the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem amid the shouts of his followers. “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Jesus’ first public action in Jerusalem was to cleanse of the temple of those who were buying and selling in the outer court–an area called “the Court of the Gentiles”. Jesus reminded the religious elite that the temple was not just a place for insiders–but for outsiders. All nations were invited into God’s presence, but with the marketplace, there was no room–and no welcome–for the alien and the stranger.
Questions for Reflection
Would a person of another religion be welcome in your faith community? Do you think they should be welcome?
What “Not Welcome” signs do you consciously or unconsciously put up around people who are “alien” to you? To your faith community?