Monday, November 9, 2015
Reflection: Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome – John 2:13-22
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome – John 2:13-22
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. If you have not been to Rome, it is the City of Churches. No matter where you go in the city, there is at least one church in the vicinity and at times, there may be several churches in close proximity to one another. Originally, the Lateran Basilica was dedicated to our Savior Jesus Christ. However, in later years the church was named in honor of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.
This church has a rich history. Five of the ecumenical councils were held in this Church. Also, from the 4th to the 14th century, several Popes resided at the Lateran Basilica. This church often is considered as mother and head of all the churches of the city of Rome.
The Gospel reading chosen for this feast is a sobering one. Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem to prepare to celebrate the Passover. As was his custom, he went to the temple. When he entered the temple area, it was filled with money changers and sellers of oxen, sheep and doves, who would be used for sacrifice. Jesus was enraged! He made a whip out of cords, and taking the whip, he drove out the money changers. Then he forcefully instructed the vendors who were selling doves: “Take these out of here! Stop making my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Churches are all around us. No matter where we live, most likely there are several churches in the vicinity. Yet each church, no matter what denomination it is, is a sacred dwelling place for God. However, churches are not the only place where God dwells. God also dwells within each one of us. We are not a “church.” However, every human being is a sacred vessel, a home for God. Today I invite you to ponder this reality. Do you treasure the fact that God dwells within you? Do you care well for the temple of your body, mind and spirit?
Today thank God for the gift of God’s presence within you and around you. And today remember: you are “a temple of God.” If we truly believe this, we may realize that our day is filled with love, generosity and peace. Today thank God for sharing his life and love with you and for making you (and every one human person) “a temple of God.” May we strive to live each day as a temple of God! If we do so, our lives will change and perhaps the world may change.