Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
(Ezekiel 47:1-2.8-9.12; I Corinthians 3:9c-11.16-17; John 2:13-22)
We may wonder why the “Dedication of the Lateran Basilica” in Rome is recognized as an official feast day. Even more curious is the fact that when this feast falls on Sunday, it replaces the “Lord’s Day” liturgy. “Why is all this?” we ask. Answers are found in the truths that in honoring any church, we honor the Lord, and in celebrating the Lateran Basilica, the pope’s cathedral, we celebrate all Christian churches.
Throughout the New Testament we find interplay between Jesus, his disciples, and the places where they pray. As today’s gospel shows, Jesus identifies himself with the ancient Temple which enshrined the glory of God. Later in the same Gospel according to John he pronounces that the one who eats his body and drinks his blood has his life within her. St. Paul closes the circle by calling the community of Jesus’ disciples in Corinth a temple of God.
As Jesus offers us his life, we extend it to others. His temple, which we have become, has life-giving water to be shared for the healing and growth of all. We accomplish this by constant and fervent prayer, the purpose of a church building, and by acts of mercy, what Jesus did throughout his public life.