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As we journey through Holy Week, a time of reflection and contemplation, I am drawn to a pivotal moment in Jesus’ ministry—cleansing the temple. This prophetic act holds profound significance, shedding light on the injustices faced by the marginalized and oppressed in Jesus’ time and our own.

Imagine the scene: Jesus, filled with righteous indignation, enters the temple—the heart of Jewish religious life. Instead of encountering reverence and worship, he is met with a marketplace, a hub of commercial activity that profanes the sacred space. With a whip of cords, Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers and drives out those who bought and sold within the temple precincts.

This act was more than just a display of anger; it was a powerful statement against the religious authorities and their exploitation of the poor. In the Jewish purity system, laws, regulations, sacrifices, and rituals governed every aspect of life. The only way one could be deemed holy or righteous was to offer sacrifice, a system from which the religious institution had developed and profited.

The sacrificial system had become corrupted, leading to the oppression of the poor. The religious authorities were making money off the backs of the marginalized, exploiting their need for purity and righteousness. The temple, meant to be a house of prayer for all nations, had become a den of thieves, enriching the powerful at the expense of the powerless.

For Jesus, this exploitation of the poor was intolerable. His anger was not directed at individuals but at the systemic injustice that perpetuated their suffering. By cleansing the temple, Jesus overturned the entire system, including the sacrificial rituals that lay at its core.

In our own time, Jesus’ message remains as relevant as ever. We live in a world marked by inequality, where the wealthy and powerful often exploit the vulnerable for their gain. The cries of the poor echo through the ages, calling us to action and demanding justice.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to stand in solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed. We are called to challenge systems of injustice and work towards a world where all are treated with dignity and respect. Let us heed the message of Holy Week, reflecting on the cleansing of the temple as a call to action and a reminder of our duty to seek justice and show compassion to all.

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