"Expulsion of the Moneychangers from the Temple"
Luca Giordano, c. 1675
("The Liturgical Year", Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent, pp. 345-346
By The Very Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger, Abott of Solesmes, 1868 A.D. )
"She [the Church] knows, that a very short time after the Feast
of Easter, they will have relapsed into the same state in which
they were on the day when she marked their foreheads with ashes."
We read, in the Gospel of the first Tuesday of
Lent, that Jesus drove from the Temple them that
were making it a place of traffic. He twice showed
this zeal for his Father's House. The passage we
just read from St. John refers to the first time.
Both occasions are brought before us during this
Season of Lent, because
this conduct of our Saviour
shows us with what severity he will treat a soul that
harbours sin within her. Our souls are the
of God, created and sanctified by God to the end that
he might dwell there. He would have nothing to
be in them, which is unworthy of their destination.
This is the Season for self-examination; and if we
have found that any passions are profaning the sanc-
tuary of our souls, let us dismiss them; let us be-
seech our Lord to drive them out by the scourge of
his justice, for we, perhaps, might be too lenient with
intruders. The day of pardon is
close at hand; let us make ourselves worthy to re-
ceive it. There is an expression in our
deserves a special notice. The Evangelist is speaking
of those Jews, who were more sincere than the rest,
and believed in Jesus, because of the miracles he
wrought; he says: Jesus did not trust himself to
them, because he knew all men. So that there may
be persons who believe in and acknowledge Jesus,
yet whose hearts are not changed! Oh ! the hard-
ness of man's heart! Oh ! cruel anxiety for God's
and worldlings are now crowding
round the Confessional; they have faith, and they
confess their sins! And the Church has no
in their repentance! She knows, that a very short
time after the Feast of Easter, they will have re-
lapsed into the same state in which they were on
the day when she marked their foreheads with ashes.
These souls are divided between God and the world;
and she trembles as she thinks on the danger they
are about to incur by receiving Holy Communion
without the preparation of a true conversion. Yet,
on the other side,
she remembers how it is written,
that the bruised reed is not to be broken, nor the smoking
flax to be
extinguished.(1.) Let us pray for these souls,
whose state is so full of doubt and danger. Let us,
also, pray for the Priests of the Church, that they
may receive from God abundant rays of that light,
whereby Jesus knew what was in man.
(1.) Is. xlii. 3.