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Structural Injustice!

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One man was talking to his friend and he exclaimed: “My wife and I had a bang up fight last night.” His friend asked him how did it wind up. “Why she came crawling to me on her hands and knees,” he said. “What did she say?” asked his friend. She said, “Come out from under that bed, you coward!”

Anger can be hostile and sarcastic. The anger of Jesus in today’s Gospel is different (John 2:13-25). Today we see a strong, angry and violent Jesus who makes a whip and drives people out of the temple. We should note that what was going on at the temple was perfectly legal. 

People had to exchange Roman coins for shekels in order to make their offering. They also had to buy clean animals for sacrifice. This legal arrangement was a monopoly that made a lot of money for the temple priests and the dealers. 

            But this legal arrangement exploited the poor. It is what we today call structural injustice which means that the injustice, though legal, is built into the system. This is what got Jesus so angry. The poor were being exploited and oppressed by the injustice that was built into the system. 

Jesus was furious that organized religion was saying that to perform a religious act you had to pay an exorbitant amount. Jesus was so angry that no one else was angry and speaking out against such injustice. Did no one else care but Jesus?

Thanks to Julia Taubitz for the picture. 

Do you think Jesus wonders why we do not get angry at the injustice we see all around us?


Here is another Message from today’s Gospel: Do share it!

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