The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
31st Week in Ordinary Time : Thursday 9th November 2023
Ex. 47:1-2,8-9,12 or 1 Cor. 3:9-11,16-17;
Ps. 45:2-3,5-6,8-9; Jn. 2:13-22 (Ps. Wk. III)
Today’s readings seem to be about erecting boundaries: foundations, buildings and temples. Church walls do not make one a Christian. Nonetheless, walls, borders and lines delimit sacred space from the profane. “Sacred” is holy or divine; profane refers to the secular, human, and ordinary. A church is a sacred space set apart (consecrated) for its members to gather to worship God in spirit and in truth. They are united as God’s family through their sacred actions, prayers, and rituals. As God dwells in this house of prayer, Jesus’ righteous anger was directed at the money changers who desecrated the temple by their spiritual worldliness. A church structurally embodies supernatural mysteries – a visible sign of the invisible Church made up of all the baptised as ‘living and chosen stones’ built on the foundation of Christ, the cornerstone.
The Lateran Basilica, called “mother and head of all the churches of the city and the world,” is the Pope’s Cathedral, where his cathedra, the chair symbolic of his teaching authority, rests. We commemorate this feast because we can freely come together in communion with the Pope and bishops to celebrate the liturgy of the Church and receive Her teachings.We are ‘God’s buildings’ because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, so we must keep our bodies and souls pure and clean, worthy of His spiritual indwelling. Every time we receive Holy Communion, we pray for the grace to be more solid living stones conformed to Christ living within us.
Lord, grant us the grace to render You due homage; Your presence burns brightly in the Tabernacle.