It is 24th November 2017. We celebrate the memorial of St Andrew Dung-Lac and his Companions, Martyrs. The readings are from 1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59; and the Gospel from Luke 19:45-48. In the first reading, we reflect about the cleaning, restoring, rededicating the Temple after the abuse from the foreign forces. This is the festival of light lasted for eight days annually. This dedication included the destroying the idols, building and furnishing the entire sanctuary. It involved not only the sacrifices at the altar but also personal sacrifices within everyone who made this possible. Every institution needs a regular cleaning that involves a systemic and integral. A nation or the institution that refuses to go through the cleaning will never be able to be productive. Cleaning up involves a painful restructuring and restoring the order that is much due. In cleaning up, the supreme values of purity and sanctity of human dignity must be upheld. The cleaning-up has to do with providing justice and restitution for all whose lives were darkened by the atrocities of the foreign forces. This cleaning-up needs to start from every home, every heart and every tiny religious, social and political establishments. The responsorial Psalm praises, “We praise your glorious name, O Lord.” (1 Chron.29:13). Jesus does the cleaning-up in the Gospel warning us all, “My house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.” (Lk.19:46). It is time now in our personal and social lives to embark on a cleaning that brings blessings. Let us make our sanctuaries of humanity humane, holy, holistic and inclusive. Newness that has begun in the hearts of people needs to acknowledge the presence of God to enjoy the long-awaited blessings and restitution for all those who were neglected and abused by the unholy and evil humanity. May God bless each one of us who vow to begin the cleaning and restoring the glory again. May you have a good day.

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