"My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Matt. 21:13).
One is struck in reading the account of the purifying of the temple by Christ (Matt. 21:12), that He should have bestowed so much thought on what was so soon to become obsolete by His own word, "It is finished!" We do not read elsewhere of the indignation of our Lord rising to such a height, and taking the form of outward compulsion. It is the seal of Christ set on the sacredness of the Old Testament worship, all the more needed that He is about to remove it; but still more it is a vivid warning beforehand against the union between covetousness and religion, or rather the form of religion. That evil reached a visible height when the sale of indulgences and the building of St. Peter's went hand in hand. But it has appeared so often, and in all sections of the Church, that the entrance of the money-changers into the temple may be called the normal danger of Christianity. Drunkenness and sensuality, which had their shrines in the old pagan Pantheon, have still a place in the hearts of many professed worshippers in the house of God, but it is Mammon who still sets up his tables in the open court.