† ""We find ourselves in this earth as in a tempestuous sea, in a desert, in a vale of tears. Now then, Mary is the Star of the Sea, the solace of our desert, the light that guides us towards heaven." — St. John Bosco
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"The Spirit of God teaches us how we can live our faith with great generosity of spirit. There is a vertical dimension to our faith (praising and worshiping God), but there is also a horizontal dimension to our faith in which we show our love to our sisters and brothers, God's beloved children." — Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 8 AN EXCERPT FROM Daily Meditations Holy Spirit
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Dedication of St. John Lateran
Saint of the Day for November 9
Story of the Dedication of St. John Lateran
Most Catholics think of St. Peter's as the pope's main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope's church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.
The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake, and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.
Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome's most imposing churches, the Lateran's towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds Saint Peter himself celebrated Mass. Reflection
Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches, this anniversary is a feast. The dedication of a church is a feast for all its parishioners. In a sense, St. John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, because it is the pope's cathedral. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church.
Lord, when I am feeling lonely, remind me of your promise, "You are never alone, I am with you always, Yes, to the end of time".
If God were trying to tell me something, would I know? If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice? I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations and open to what God may be saying to me.
How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.
The Word of God
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome readings audio
Reading 1 Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
The angel brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the façade of the temple was toward the east; the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple, south of the altar. He led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing the east, where I saw water trickling from the southern side. He said to me, "This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9 R. (5) The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High! God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High! There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed; God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High! The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Come! behold the deeds of the LORD, the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
Reading 2 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17
Brothers and sisters: You are God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
Alleluia 2 Chr 7:16 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, that my name may be there forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 2:13-22
Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews said, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ This strong action of Jesus can surprise us. The sale of animals and the work of the moneychangers are associated with sacrificial offerings to Yahweh. Jesus saw that they had gone too far and that the business aspect was overriding the true purpose of the temple which was prayer and worship.
▪ In his conversation Jesus spoke of himself as being the temple of God. Paul reminds us that we too are the temple of God. This can easily be forgotten if the commercial element of our lives takes precedence.
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: John 2:13-22
The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Feast)
Stop making my Father's house a marketplace. (John 2:16)
What comes to mind when you hear the word "home"? Perhaps you think of rest, security, or comfort, or maybe the freedom to be yourself. So imagine if you came home one day and found it had been turned into a movie theater or a car wash or a bank. Imagine if strangers were coming and going, not to find rest, but to conduct business. It wouldn't feel like home at all!
This may help us understand what Jesus felt when he confronted the merchants in the Temple. He wasn't condemning them for doing their job. People needed to buy animals for sacrifice and to change money. He just didn't want them doing it in the Temple. This was his Father's house, and it was his home too.
We, too, are God's temples, and our hearts have been made to find their deepest happiness in him alone (1 Corinthians 3:16). You could say that our hearts have been made to be at home with God. When we let other concerns or occupations crowd out the Lord, we lose the security and freedom that come from being with him. But when we put God first, we find the peace we long for. We are ruled by the Holy Spirit instead of by temptations, our emotions, or whatever life is throwing at us.
Of course, being God's temple doesn't mean that we can't find joy in the natural world. Think of the joy of your wedding day or the birth of a child, or think of the satisfaction you feel in a job well done. Those are gifts and blessings, given by a loving Father, and he delights in seeing us receive them happily.
It's a good thing we have the Holy Spirit to help us establish the right priorities! When we need some "housecleaning," we can be sure that the Spirit won't use a whip, as Jesus did with the money changers. Instead, he will speak gently to our consciences—insistently, if necessary, but always gently.
So preserve your time with the Lord in prayer. Treasure it, and be vigilant in guarding it. It's in prayer, most of all, that we can keep our "temple" clean and prevent it from getting overrun.
"Father, thank you for making me your temple. Help me to put you first so that I can find my home in you."
We heard the Word of God say to us today "Brothers and sisters: You are God's building...Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy." You are the temple of God. These unborn children are temples of God. We are the temple of God. Keep this in mind as you run into your family today, your children, your cousins, your friends and strangers...temples of God...temples of the Holy Spirit. Are we letting the Holy Spirit reside inside this temple, or is it cluttered with so called..."life"; life that is not life itself, because it is JESUS that is life! We prayed today "The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!" And the waters flow that give life. There is a riverwalk in San Antonio, Tx, it is man-made for the most part, the water runs through and in the most populated part is at, it seems the most beautiful. The other parts that are abandoned, it's the same river, but the people are gone, the beauty is gone. Take for instance these two analogies; picture China, and picture Japan. When I picture China, it seems like a vast empty land, a long wall that was built, and when you picture Japan, there seems more to seem as if it were bigger, and it is the people that make all the difference. Life matters, what's inside is what matters. What good is a big empty house? How about a small crowded house, it's teaming with life. But what about a big house or small house full of junk? There is no room for life!
In comes our Lord, the Lord of life, asking us to clean up the house, to make room for HIM, LIFE! Let us pray now that we have a new leader, that we clean house. Let the Lord of life cleanse you with a scourging. For the Lord was scourged so that we could be cleansed. It takes work, but the clean house feels good, more welcoming for those that will enter to be comfortable. This is to say, remove all that clutter in our hearts. When Jesus saw the animals in the house of God, He whipped them out. Animals are not humans, and this is symbolic of the savage beast that tries to enter and take over the heart...the temple of God...our hearts. I ask you for prayer for our world, not just our country, because it needs life, Jesus, healing, and to see the face of God in the unborn child, the poor, the forgotten, the ousted, all because there is no "room" for them with the junk of ourselves. In this year of mercy, we have a chance to remove the junk of ourselves from our lives. This morning, an uncle/worker here was saying how when someone takes his truck, it always seems it comes back broke, or junked out, or full of trash, just not taken care of. Our bodies are temples, borrowed from God. His is the earth, the world. The only thing inside is the Soul and that belongs to Him. What we do with it is what matters. When I borrow something, I want it to be taken care of, and returned in as good or better condition than when I borrowed it. Our bodies are borrowed. We are here for a short while. I want you to evangelize to your children. If you are in the grace of God, you don't have to have physical children, but spiritual children. Many times, I call family and friends "mijo" or "mija" (son or daughter), because it comes across accidentally, or is it God talking through me to His children? I love like the Father. When I correct my children and just about spank them, they seem to respect me more and love me more and fear me more. When the child is not spanked or corrected right, they are rude, and put themselves at your level, as if to be as high or higher than you. My child, we must love God through the hardships, and love Him more in the good that He does. I say this so that you may be strong. I say this so that you will understand when I tell you, "you are wrong" and "I want things right". And what's right is God reclaiming HIS temple..our body, our souls....