27th Sunday Ordinary Time – “Not in Our House!”

Not in Our House 1

The game and corporate industry of football gives us an insight into what Jesus is doing in this gospel.  The home team protects its field, their turf, from intrusion by a foreign power.  It’s fans dress up to honor their heroes.  They wears their colors.  One mind.  One heart.  One intent: Victory.  You don’t come here to pillage and plunder.  “Not in Our House!”  We will take you out!

Jesus is the interloper.  He’s the unwelcome guest.  He’s the intruder.  “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  Cleanses the Temple.  “Which child did the will of the parent?”  And now the issue of ownership.  

The chief priests, scribes, Pharisees, and the elders dominated Israel’s identity politics – Here is what it means to belong.  Here is what it means to be Jewish.  Reject all others.  And the Temple was the center of it all.  And Jesus goes there.  He calls them “tenants” and not rulers (!)

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.  The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’  

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.  They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet…” (Matt. 21:44-46)

The chief priests and Pharisees basically said, “Not in Our House!”

This is our perpetual tug-of-war with God.  Are we owners or stewards of our lives?  

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