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Catechism of the Catholic Church

II. JESUS AND THE TEMPLE

583 Like the prophets before him Jesus expressed the deepest respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that Joseph and Mary presented him forty days after his birth. 349 At the age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his parents that he must be about his Father's business. 350 He went there each year during his hidden life at least for Passover. 351 His public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts. 352

584 Jesus went up to the Temple as the privileged place of encounter with God. For him, the Temple was the dwelling of his Father, a house of prayer, and he was angered that its outer court had become a place of commerce. 353 He drove merchants out of it because of jealous love for his Father: "You shall not make my Father's house a house of trade. His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for your house will consume me.'" 354 After his Resurrection his apostles retained their reverence for the Temple. 355

585 On the threshold of his Passion Jesus announced the coming destruction of this splendid building, of which there would not remain "one stone upon another". 356 By doing so, he announced a sign of the last days, which were to begin with his own Passover. 357 But this prophecy would be distorted in its telling by false witnesses during his interrogation at the high priest's house, and would be thrown back at him as an insult when he was nailed to the cross. 358

586 Far from having been hostile to the Temple, where he gave the essential part of his teaching, Jesus was willing to pay the Temple-tax, associating with him Peter, whom he had just made the foundation of his future Church. 359 He even identified himself with the Temple by presenting himself as God's definitive dwelling-place among men. 360 Therefore his being put to bodily death 361 presaged the destruction of the Temple, which would manifest the dawning of a new age in the history of salvation: "The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father." 362

Notes:

349 Lk 2:22-39.

350 Cf. Lk 2:46-49.

351 Cf. Lk 2:41.

352 Cf. Jn 2:13-14; 5:1, 14; 7:1, 10, 14; 8:2; 10:22-23.

353 Cf. Mt 21:13.

354 Jn 2:16-17; cf. Ps 69:10.

355 Cf. Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:20, 21; etc.

356 Cf. Mt 24:1-2.

357 Cf. Mt 24:3; Lk 13:35.

358 Cf. Mk 14:57-58; Mt 27:39-40.

359 Cf. Mt 8:4; 16:18; 17:24-27; Lk 17:14; Jn 4:22; 18:20.

360 Cf. Jn 2:21; Mt 12:6.

361 Cf. Jn 2:18-22.

362 Jn 4:21; cf. 4:23-24; Mt 27:51; Heb 9:11; Rev 21:22.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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