Monday, November 9, 2015

Drove Them All

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Minute Meditations

One in Christ Minute Meditations
Because we are all one in Christ, more stuff will never soothe our hearts while our brothers and sisters throughout the world continue to suffer hunger, neglect, and inhumane poverty. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. Abundant possessions cannot shield us from this inner sadness of the soul.
— from St. Anthony Messenger

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 St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.


Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches (St. Mary Major, August 5; Sts. Peter and Paul, November 18), 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.


"What was done here, as these walls were rising, is reproduced when we bring together those who believe in Christ. For, by believing they are hewn out, as it were, from mountains and forests, like stones and timber; but by catechizing, baptism and instruction they are, as it were, shaped, squared and planed by the hands of the workers and artisans. Nevertheless, they do not make a house for the Lord until they are fitted together through love" (St. Augustine, Sermon 36).

Daily Prayer - 2015-11-09


Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.


Dear Lord, instil in my heart
the desire to know and love you more.
May I respond to your will for my life.


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

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 fa├žade 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.
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.
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.
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.
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

  • Commerce was necessary to sustain the worship of God in his temple. Animals had to be sold for sacrifice, Roman money changed into Jewish money to pay the temple tax. But where should this commerce take place? Not within the temple precinct! Jesus is angry that "my Father's house" was being turned into a marketplace. Does Jesus express his anger appropriately? What might desecrate our places of worship today?
  • John's gospel frequently plays on the double-meaning of words. Here, in the dialogue between Jesus and the Jews, there is a breakdown in communication. The Jews understand "temple" to apply only to the building in which they are standing. Jesus, however, is applying the term to his own body and is prophesying his resurrection. This was to be the sign about which they had been asking.
  • Have you ever encountered similar incomprehension in conversations about religious matters?


Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you.
I can tell you everything that troubles me.
I know you care about all the concerns in my life.
Teach me to live in the knowledge
that you who care for me today,
will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 2:13-22

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The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Feast)

What sign can you show us for doing this? (John 2:18

If you've ever seen a superhero movie, you know that at some point, that hero will have to prove himself. Someone in trouble is going to ask him, "What can you do for us?" Or the villain will say, "Show me what you've got." That's what makes characters like Spiderman, Batman, and Superman interesting to us. They look like ordinary people, but we love seeing them use their superpowers to get the bad guys!

Of course, the Jewish religious leaders in today's reading are not villains. But they do want a sign from Jesus to justify his treatment of the money changers. In fact, throughout John's Gospel these leaders demand signs. But there really isn't a sign Jesus can do to prove that he has authority over the Temple. That's because he is the real Temple, the dwelling place of the glory of God! He tries to explain that to them but only proves it later on by rising from the dead.

People are still looking for signs today. Some are lost and searching for God, and some are questioning or perhaps even hostile to faith. The only real sign we can give them is Jesus—just as Jesus himself did back then. And this is something we all can do. Remember: you are a temple of the Lord; he is alive in you through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). So you just might be the very sign that someone is looking for!

Don't underestimate how much God can use you to bring people to him. If you are trying your best to stay close to the Lord every day, people are going to notice it—even more than the cross around your neck or the Bible on your desk. They will notice that you're peaceful when you should be stressed, collected in the midst of chaos, and forgiving when you have every right to be angry. They'll notice that there is not just something different about you, but someone.

So be at peace; Jesus is at work in you. He is the hero who can really save the day!

"Lord, fill me with the desire to know you and to walk in holiness. I want to be a sign of your presence in this world."

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17


Today's 5minutos (allow me to translate):
  "To dress up as a Christian costs very little.  Fulfill a few norms and rituals is comfortable and gives a feeling of security.  It frees us from severe judgement from the orthodox guardians, but it does not give us the joy of Jesus, and, many times, does not connect us with the God of Jesus.  We all take care of the outside, the facade, what everyone sees.  Taking care of the interior, beautifying it and fortifying the character and the coherence between what we say and what we do worries us much less.  No one sees it.  It is not easy to live with a radical faith that we say we profess.  The others will always find inconsistencies and failures in our faith and our life.  "The Church is not a museum of saints.  It is more like a hospital for sinners".  "God you only have to adore".  In the year 1953, a man was arriving to a Chicago train station.  They had awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize.  Off the train got off the tall man with tangled hair and a great mustache.  There the authorities were waiting and the reporters with their cameras.  He gave them thanks and asked to be excused for a moment.  He walked between the great multitude and directed himself to an elderly black woman that could barely carry her two suitcases.  He took her luggage, accompanied her to the bus and desired her a good trip.  Albert Schweitzer asked pardon to the authorities and reporters for having made them wait.  One reporter exclaimed: "That is the first time in my life I have sin a sermon walk".

By my desk I have a set of dumbells.  I have every intention to lift them to get some type of exercise in the day.  They remain now for months on end collecting dust.  People that see them ask if I use them and I reply "every once in a while".  Think about your faith.  You have every intention to use it.  People ask you if you go to church and you may say "sometimes".  And that sometimes becomes further and further from the truth.  I say this because I recall last week I asked a cousin to bring their child to church, to at least pray with her for me and she replied "I have every intention to do it".  But what are intentions then?  The First Scripture speaks of the temple, with flowing waters, and we intend to drink and be fruitful.  I read a quote this weekend "Not going to communion is like someone dying of thirst beside a spring." -St. John Vianney.  And how will you take Holy Communion if you are not in full communion with the Holy Church...the temple of God, all of us together?
The Psalms pray "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".  There is a little bitty town a few hours away out here in west Texas, where there are no rivers or lakes (worth mentioning anyways LOL).  But in this little town, spring water runs through it.  On hot summer days if you drive through, you will see people congregate, kids play, picnics going on, fellowship, the town seems alive.  The news said months ago, that the city officials were thinking about cutting off the stream water and the people were on the news opposing the idea.  The question now is on your faith.  What is cutting off the stream of flowing waters that bring life to the soul?  Pay attention to the Holy Gospel.

Our Lord Jesus speaks to us today, "stop making my Father's house a marketplace."  In the Gospel today, did you place yourself in the story?  Where were you?  Who did you see yourself as in the story?  An onlooker?  A market person?  Or nobody at all?  An onlooker may see the signs of God, be wowed for a moment and then move on, just raises an eyebrow, or interest, like King Herod, but that's it.  A market person was there doing business, even business "for the Lord" or "the community".  But was it really for the Lord?  Because, we have intentions, and many times they are a mask of faith, because underneath those tables, the truth was revealed...nothing was there all along!  If you do not realize what God is asking, He is asking for the truth.  Here we have the Truth seeking your truth.  Here we have a story of our Lord fulfilling the Holy Word of God, and you?  Are you fulfilling it?  I fool people with my weights by my desk, but I'm really fooling myself.  I appear to them as someone who likes to lift weights, and really underneath my shirt is a flabby out of shape body.  What we have to realize is this fooling around is also the equivalent of being faithless.  And if you are unfaithful, you are unfaithful to the Lord.  So I wonder, if today the Lord showed up to our Church, would He get the belt out again and start whipping all of us who think we are so good being so busy, doing rituals and dressing up as Christians?  How many people would be driven out?  How many?  Think about it?  I bet you may have thought "alot of people".  The answer is none.  Jesus drives out demons, not people.   Jesus is asking for a purity of the temple, the Church, the people of God.  Stop your blabbering!  Stop saying things that are untrue, even in prayer!  You are only lying and fooling yourself, and even condemning yourself!  Like the spouse that separates from their spouse and says they pray.  Oh sure they might pray for themselves, but what about unification of the family?  What about praying for the strength to be able to forgive?  What is being driven out of the temple is important.  The beasts, the money, the beast of money, all that is not important.  You can't buy God's love.  You can't earn God's love.  It's already there.  It is us that talk about being "too busy" for Him.  And honestly, take this from a man that has been in various ministries for several years to this day, you lose time if you lose a ministry.  God will not take away but add.  That's if you learn to give.  That's if you learn to receive of His grace.  That's if you stop fooling around on Him.

 That's if you stop simplifying Him, making your relationship empty.  Our Lord destroys what is wrong, and allows Himself to be destroyed along with it...only to bring it back together, anew, Holy, and forever.  Would you care to join Him?

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