Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, year A (Feast)
Ezekiel 47:1-2.8-9.12 1 Cor. 3:9c-11.16-17 John 2:13-22
Theme: God’s Temple
Today the church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. The Mother of all churches and the cathedral of the Pope. The celebration of today reminds us of our Apostolic roots, through Peter and his successors. A church Jesus handed over to the Apostle Peter. It is a celebration that also reminds us about who we are as children of God and Christians. As we celebrate this feast today, we are also encouraged to embrace holiness of life, knowing fully well that our body is the Temple of God.
We are all Gods Temple and his spirit dwells in all of us, that is why we must be mindful of how we live our lives, not to desecrate it and attract God’s anger. Let this consciousness continue to drive us to make conscious effort to embrace holiness of life. Humanly speaking it may sound very difficult, but if we resolve to work and make it happen in our lives, the grace of God will always sustain us. That is why the reminder given to us annually as we celebrate this feast will be a constant one for all of us and will always help us to continue to make conscious effort towards holiness of life.
The scenario that plays out in the gospel reading of today, presents to us an angry Jesus. He chased the people out of the Temple because they were desecrating the sacredness of the Temple by their actions. The Temple is a sacred place and a place of encounter between God and his people. Any other thing outside this is not the intention of God, it is a place of worship. That is why he chased the people out, and I believe that some of the people also learnt from his actions in the Temple.
The sense of the sacred that is associated with the church in our own time, is it still present, or we have also desecrated it like the time of Jesus? Let us be mindful of the things we do within the church that does not promote the worship of God and do all we can to stop them immediately. With the consciousness that we are in a sacred space and treat it as such. Todays feast also reminds us about the authenticity of where we are as Catholics. The Lateran Basilica existed alone as a church for three hundred years, so it is the first church.
May the Lord bless his words in our hearts, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.