Friday, November 9, 2012

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)

“Crystal Cathedral” is a massive church built in Orange County, California, through the efforts of evangelist Robert Schuller. Made of glass and housing a mammoth organ, the structure was recently sold to the Catholic Diocese of Orange when its parent company filed for bankruptcy. Never before an authentic cathedral since there was no bishop presiding there, the church will soon live up to its name. It is being refashioned and will likely be renamed “Christ Cathedral” for the diocese’s new bishop Kevin Vann.

As all Catholic churches, Christ Cathedral will celebrate today as a special feast. The Cathedral of St. John Lateran in Rome is the pope’s cathedral and, therefore, the “mother and head of all churches of the city and of the world.” It too is an impressive structure even though its fame, size, and beauty have been eclipsed by the Basilica of St. Peter.

Churches are privileged places of encounter with God. They both exhort silence and ring out joy. Silence is necessary so that comers can speak to God in their inner chambers. Bells acknowledge that God is always active among His people.