November 9, 2017

Lateran Basilica Dedication

November 9, 2017:  Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

See 17 connections with today?
Legend at bottom

For 1st reading
For Psalm 46
For 2nd reading / today's feast
From Handel's Messiah (for gospel's temple purification)
Pope Francis homily
It's every Christian's duty to build, safeguard, and purify the Church.  The title "mother of all the Churches" is not a cause for pride but for service and of love.
Building:  Christ is the Church's foundation, the building's cornerstone; without him there's no Church.  As a building without a foundation will collapse, so will a Church without a living Jesus.  We are the Church's living stones; as each is different, so is the Church's wealth.  Each of us builds according to the gift God has given us; a uniform Church is not a Church.
Safeguarding:  Be aware of the Holy Spirit in us.  Many Christians know Jesus and the Father because they pray the Our Father, but to them the Spirit is just a dove.  The Spirit is the life of the Church and our life.  We, the temple of the Spirit, must safeguard him as Paul urges Christians not to “sadden the Spirit,” not go against the harmony the Spirit creates in us and the Church.  He is harmony, and He creates harmony in the building.
Purifying the Church begins with us.  Each of us must recognize our sinfulness.  Since we're sinners, we need to purify ourselves continuously.  This purifies the community, the diocese, and the universal community of the Church; it makes the Church grow.
  • 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!
  • 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....
  • Jn 2:13-22  (Hear it)  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 Lateran Basilica represents the “living church” on earth.  In the 1st reading the temple foreshadows the founding of the Church.  The 2nd reading reminds us we're God’s building and should live accordingly.  The gospel temple cleansing reminds me to cleanse my personal temple of whatever drives me away from Christ.
    Cleansing of the Temple/ El Greco
  • One Bread, One Body:  "World war":  Ekklesia ('church' Gk.) means 'called out.'  The Church is the assembly of people Jesus has chosen; Jesus founded it in the shadow of Caesarea Philippi, implying it would attack the gates of hell by storming the city gates.  We live in the physical world but are at war with the spiritual world.  We're not of the world any more than Jesus belongs to it, so the world hates us.  The Church, "called out," is both army and shelter; it's where God rallies, rests, teaches, and nourishes.  We're a community, a koinonia, "a sharing in common."  We don't have much in common with the world; Jesus set us free from it.  But we share with our fellow community members the life-saving experience of personal relationship with Jesus and the empowerment by the Spirit.  Do you live in line with this meaning of church?
  • The basilica's façade
  • Passionist:  Today we remember that our most humble church building finds meaning in its connection with St. John Lateran.  As the cathedral of Rome, it's our Mother Church, we can feel at home there even from a distance, even if we've never seen it.  John Chrysostom describes the community of the baptized by comparing us to a church:  before baptism we're like a building with doors hanging off their hinges, neglected, run down, a place danger and chaos; after, we're beautiful, a place of welcome and hospitality. We gather as Church, connected, each building on our foundation of Jesus, bringing our gifts, making it beautiful and welcoming.  In the Church God listens to our prayer.  We can be in speechless wonder.  When the temple was blessed, everyone fled as the cloud of God filled it.  "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people."  "Here I will set the soles of my feet...."
  • Fr. Jim Clarke homily podcast:  Celebrate God's authority and presence among us.  We are God's temple.  Honor every person.  Attend to the chapel of your body. Care for all human beings....
  •  "Zeal for the Father's house":  Jesus' disciples saw his cleansing of the temple as a prophecy of God’s action. The temple was understood as God's dwelling place among his people. God gave Moses instruction for worship and for making the Tabernacle, or Meeting Tent, later replaced by the Temple.  These "serve as a shadow of the heavenly sanctuary." The temple cleansing is also a sign that Jesus wants to cleanse us of sin and make us temples of his Spirit.
Jesus expelled the moneychangers because they were making his Father's house into a marketplace or robbers' den.  Malachi foretold the Lord's would come to his Temple to purify and refine the sons of Levi till they present right offerings to the Lord.  Jesus' disciples recalled "Zeal for your house will consume me," a Messianic prophecy, but the Jewish authorities, who wanted proof Jesus had divine authority, demanded a sign from God, or else they'd treat him as an impostor, a usurper of their authority.  Jesus replied that the sign would be his death and resurrection ("Destroy this temple, and in three days I'll raise it up."), but the Jews didn't understand he was referring to his own body.  Jesus reconciles us with God, fills us with his Spirit, and makes us temples of God.  God enlightens our minds and purifies our hearts that we may worship him God fitting worship and enjoy his presence both now and forever....
  • Universalis:  Constantine built the Lateran basilica, “mother and head of all the churches of the world,” on Lateran Hill.
Dress legend
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  Every creature that can 'multiply' shall live (1st reading)
  • Blue in shirt:  Water flowing... (1st reading, psalm)
  • White in shirt:  Color of St. John Lateran dedication feast
  • 'Angel' pin:  The angel brought me to the temple entrance (1st reading)
  • 'Fishes' tie:  Abundant fish where the river flows (1st reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  Fruit trees shall grow;... (1st reading)
  • 'Fruit' pin:  ...They'll bear fresh fruit every month (1st reading)
  • 'Alps' pin:  We fear not though mountains fall (psalm)
  • 'Hammer' pin:  I laid a foundation; others build on it (2nd reading)
  • 'Castle' button:  You are God's building (2nd reading)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Christ, the Church's cornerstone/foundation (2nd reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  You're God's temple, and God's Spirit dwells in you (2nd reading); dove sellers in temple area (gospel); to many Christians the Spirit is just a dove (pope's homily)
  • 'Sheep' and 'coin' tie bars:  Sheep sellers, money changers, coins in temple area (gospel)
  • "Boundless mercy" 'sign' pin:  “What sign can you show us?” (gospel)
  • 'Car' pin:  Jesus 'drove' the merchants and moneychangers out of the temple (gospel)

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