November 9, 2015

Lateran Basilica Dedication

November 9, 2015:  Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

See 14 connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading and psalm

For 2nd reading / today's feast
From Handel's Messiah (for gospel's temple purification)
Pope Francis World Mission Day message
Since Christ’s entire existence had a missionary character, so too all those who follow him must possess this missionary quality.  Being a missionary isn't about proselytizing or strategy; mission is part of the “grammar” of faith, essential for those who listen to the voice of the Spirit who whispers “Come” and “Go forth.”  Those who follow Christ must be missionaries, for they know Jesus “walks with them, speaks to them, breathes with them.  They sense Jesus alive with them in the missionary enterprise” (Evangelii Gaudium, 266).  Mission is a passion for Jesus and his people.  The love flowing from Jesus' heart gives us dignity, sustains us, and embraces all humanity.  He wants to use us to draw closer to his people and all who seek him.  In Jesus’ command to “go forth,” we see the Church’s evangelizing mission.  We're called to proclaim the Gospel by our witness of life.
The 50th anniversary of Ad Gentes invites us to reflect on its contents.  St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Patroness of the Missions, inspires reflection upon the connection between contemplative life and mission.  The central ideal of mission is Jesus Christ, and it demands the total gift of oneself to the proclamation of the Gospel.  Those who accept the mission are called to live it; the proclamation of Christ in the peripheries becomes their way of following him, one that more than repays them for their difficulties and sacrifices.  Don't let others rob you of the ideal of a true mission, of following Jesus through the total gift of yourself.  All who love the Master must proclaim the Gospel.
The Church’s mission is faced by the challenge of meeting the needs of all people to return to their roots and protect the values of their cultures.  This means knowing and respecting other traditions and realizing that all peoples have the right to be helped from within their traditions to enter into the mystery of God’s wisdom and to accept the Gospel of Jesus, who is light and transforming strength for all.
The Gospel message must first be proclaimed to the poor, the little ones, the sick, those who are looked down on or forgotten, those who can't repay us.  Evangelization directed preferentially to the least is a sign of the Kingdom Jesus came to bring: “There's an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor.   May we never abandon them” (Evangelii Gaudium, 48).  “The laity should cooperate in the work of evangelization; as witnesses and living instruments, they share in the Church's saving mission” (Ad Gentes, 41).  They want to share the missionary vocation inherent in Baptism.  The houses and structures of the missions are natural places to welcome and support them.
A true missionary is passionate for the Gospel.  “Woe to me if I don't preach the Gospel!”  The Gospel is the source of joy, liberation, and salvation for everyone.  The Church is aware of this gift and so ceaselessly proclaims to everyone “what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes.”  The mission of servants of the Word is to allow everyone to enter into a personal relationship with Christ.  All the faithful are called to live their baptismal commitment to the fullest....  [Better late than never:  I missed this on both World Mission Day and World Mission Sunday; I just remembered because a Maryknoll Missioner preached at our parish yesterday.]
  • Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12  Water flows out of the temple.  Where the river flows, creatures live, the sea is made fresh, and fruit trees grow and bear fruit.
  • Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9  "The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!"  God is our refuge and help; we're not afraid.  The Lord our stronghold is with us.  Behold God's astounding deeds!
    Lateran basilica's papal cathedra
  • 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17  You're God’s building.  I laid a foundation, and another is building on it.  Be careful how you build; don't lay a foundation other than Christ.  You're God's holy temple, and God's Spirit dwells in you.  If you destroy it, God will destroy you.
  • Jn 2:13-22  Jesus, finding animal-sellers and money-changers in the temple, drove them out, spilled the coins, and overturned the tables:  “Don't make my Father’s house a marketplace!”  Jews / Jesus:  “What sign can you show?” / “Destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it.” / “It took 46 years, and you need only 3 days?”  But he was speaking about his Body.  When he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered and came to believe...
    • Creighton:  The Jews experience a kind of parched earth when exiled in Babylon.  Ezekiel had a vision of the new Temple:  a spring welling up, transforming the desolate Arabah and purifying the Dead Sea, its water bringing life and healing.  The psalmist exults as the stream gladdens the city of God. / Jesus drives out those making his Father’s house a marketplace, the money-changers and sellers, who became rich at the expense of the poor.  When asked for a sign, he says, “Destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it up.”  Paul preaches the good news of Jesus and baptizes the Gentiles they could become God’s “building.”  Remember Christ dwells in you, giving you courage to overcome weakness and become a temple of the Lord.  We may be a broken pipeline, but with God’s grace flowing through us, we can foster life and beauty.
    Cleansing of the Temple/ El Greco
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Consumed by love for the Church":  From the Church flow the living waters that will "renew the face of the earth."  The Church must be "built as an edifice of spirit, a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ."  "In him you're being built into this temple, to become a dwelling place for God."  "Be careful how you build."  For the Church to bring Jesus to the world and make every thought captive to Christ, she must be cleansed.  May zeal for God's Church consume us; may we cleanse the Church by repenting of our sins.  When we build up the Church, we'll see her exalted as the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, pillar of truth, "chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, a people he claims to proclaim the works of the One who called you from darkness into his marvelous light."  Love the Church as Christ does; give yourself up for her.
    • Passionist:  "Lift up your gates that the King of Glory may come in":  Today's gospel shows Jesus cleansing the temple.  He's just given us his first sign, the wine of Cana.  Now, asked for a sign, he says the temple is more than stone; it's his body, and when destroyed, in three days he'll raise it up. / St. John Lateran is Pope Francis’ cathedral, and in a sense ours.  In what we approach in bread and wine, water, light, incense, song, and the touch of peace, may we like Mary believe the word and find our way through the church to Christ victorious and risen.
      Basilica's façade
    •  "Zeal for the Father's house":  Jesus' disciples saw his cleansing of the temple as a prophetic sign of God’s action.  The temple was understood as God's dwelling among his people. When God delivered his people in Egypt, he made a covenant with them and gave them a way of life embodied in the Law.  God gave Moses instruction for worship and for making the Tabernacle, which was replaced by the temple; they "serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary," God’s Temple in heaven.  Jesus' cleansing of the temple is also a sign of what he wants to do with us:  to cleanse us and make us living temples of his Holy Spirit.  Jesus referred to the temple as his Father's house which was being made into a "house of trade" or "robbers' den"; that's why he expelled the money-changers. Malachi foretold the coming of the Lord unexpectedly to his Temple to "purify the sons of Levi...."  Jesus' disciples recalled, "Zeal for your house will consume me," understood as a Messianic prophecy.  Jewish authorities wanted a sign that Jesus had the authority to act as he did, or else they'd treat him as an impostor, a usurper of their authority.  Jesus replied that the sign God would give would be Jesus' death and resurrection:  "Destroy this temple, and in three days I'll raise it up."  They didn't understand he was referring to his own body; it had to be destroyed to open the way for us. / Jesus reconciles us with God and fills us with his Spirit and makes us temples of God.  God's word enlightens and purifies us so we may worship God and enjoy his presence now and forever.
    • Universalis:  Constantine built the Lateran basilica, “mother and head of all the churches of the world,” on Lateran Hill.
    Dress legend
    • 'Tree,'  'leaf' pins:  Along the river banks, tress shall grow, and their leaves won't fade... (1st reading)
    • 'Fish' tie pin:  Where the river flows, it teems with every living creature; fish will abound... (1st reading)
    • 'Angel' pin:  The angel brought me to the temple entrance (1st reading)
    • Blue in shirt:  flowing water (1st reading, psalm)
    • White in shirt:  color of St. John Lateran dedication feast
      • 'Hammer' pin:  "Like a wise builder, I laid foundation, and another is building on it." (2nd reading)
      • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "You're God's temple, and the Spirit of God dwells in you" (2nd reading)
      • 'Buildings with people' tie:  church dedication, "You are God's building" (2nd reading)
      • 'Rock' tie pin:  Christ, cornerstone/foundation of the Church (2nd reading)
        • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Jesus found sheep sellers in the temple (gospel)
        • 'Coin' button:  Jesus spilled the money-changers' coins (gospel)
        • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' them out of the temple (gospel)
        • '[City of Saints] sign' button:  "What sign can you show?" (gospel)

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