Monday, Thirty Second Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Eze 47:1-2,8-9,12 or 1Cor 3:9-11,16-17; Ps 46:2-3,5-6,8-9; Jn 2:13-22
BEING A TEMPLE FOR GOD
Today is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St John Lateran, the first publicly consecrated basilica in Christendom. The Basilica was built in Rome by Emperor Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester on November 9, 324 A.D. The Lateran Basilica is also called the Basilica of our Saviour. It is the Cathedral of Diocese of Rome and the seat of the Pope.
Ezekiel speaks of a vision of new life flowing from God’s temple, and Paul calls us are temples of the Holy Spirit. As temples, does God’s life flow from us, bringing new life to those around us? Do we allow God to use us as nourishment for those in need? The psalmist states that God is our refuge and strength and Paul rephrases this truth in declaring Jesus as our foundation. Do we find a firm foundation in Jesus when the world seems to be pressing in on all sides? God is there for us in a very real way. Speak to any believer who has experienced the trials of life, and you will hear about a God who is present and active.
The gospel presents the scene of Jesus clearing out the temple. Does not Jesus do the same with us? Does he not overturn our attachments with his grace and smash the lies that tend to creep into our lives? When, Jesus is our foundation, then we will not fail to acknowledge his transforming work within us, turning us into a holy place for the Spirit to reside, even if his actions of ‘overturning and smashing’ are painful and difficult. Furthermore, if only we recognized our true identity as sacred temples, our interactions with each other would be transformed as well. No doubt it is hard to imagine those difficult people in life as God’s holy dwelling. But this is the truth that the Incarnation reveals; that no matter how frail human nature is, it is now exalted in the person of Jesus Christ and is divinized with his presence.
Responsorial Psalm: The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, the holy place, the dwelling of the Most High.
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