Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Reading 1Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Reading 21 Cor 3:9C-11, 16-17 Gospel Jn 2:13-22
Today we commemorate the dedication of St. John the Lateran Basilica, the cathedral of the See of Rome. This was the church were baptisms were administered to the catechumens in the early Church. This also serves as an apt invitation to reflect about our faith we have received according to the apostolic tradition.
The first reading and the gospel speak about the temple of the Lord. The temple represents the presence of the Lord amidst us. The first reading speaks of streams of water flowing out of the temple which brings healing and gives life wherever it flows. The water (God’s Spirit) renews and restores all things anew. It transforms and heals the sins. (We too have experienced this renewal and forgiveness on the day of our baptism). The earthly temple of Jerusalem through the services of Levitical priesthood was intended by God to be an abode where all people experience God’s saving help. The priests who were to be the ministers of God’s Word and mercy were caught up in the realm of corruption. They ministered the gratuitous mercy of God as a business.
Jesus, the Son of God, reminded the Jews and priests that the temple of the Lord was sacred. Anything that demeans the sacredness of God is indeed an abomination to be condemned.
As Christians we are built on Christ the corner stone and have transformed our bodies into temple of God’s Spirit. How often we defile ourselves and cause abomination to Christ’s Body, the Church and to God? We too like the money lenders and the priests have become so incumbent that we don’t want to change our way of life.
Jesus, in today’s Eucharist, demands from us to cleanse ourselves from all defilement. Let us allow the Spirit of the Lord to cleanse and transform us continually as we participate in the sacraments of the Church and thus fan into flame the faith we have received.