Thursday, November 9, 2017

I Will Raise It Up


We are Temples of the Holy Spirit

Jesus brings us a message that is startling and new: Each of us is called to be the dwelling place of God. Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Corinthians, says, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that God's Spirit dwells in you? God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." These are strong words! Jesus says, 'I dwell in you and you in me.'" This is radically new. We are, each one of us, the dwelling place of God.
—from the book The Gospel of John, the Gospel of Relationship
by Jean Vanier


✞ "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

"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
Daily Meditations Holy Spirit


November 9th is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. It marks the dedication, in 324 A.D., of the cathedral church of Rome after Constantine's Edict of Milan granted religious freedom to Christians. It is the oldest and ranks first among the four Papal Basilicas, and is the official ecclesiastical chair of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. A Latin inscription in the church reads: "Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput," translated, "Of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head." Its universal celebration is a sign of love for and union with the See of St. Peter, Vicar of Christ.

"For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet 'in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.' But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved."
Hebrews 10:36-39


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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. In the 14th century when the papacy returned to Rome from Avignon, the church and the adjoining palace were found to be 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.


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.


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

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.


Meditation: Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Feast)

Wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. (Ezekiel 47:9)

The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the driest places on earth. It receives an average of only 0.6 inch of rain per year. Some places have not received any rain for more than 400 years. In 2015, however, the desert miraculously bloomed. On a single March day, thunderstorms brought nearly a full inch of rain. Seeds, dried up and dormant for years, exploded in a burst of life and color. The lifeless, dusty, and unappealing land became a place of beauty and fruitfulness. All this because water brought life to barren salty ground.

Today we celebrate the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, whose domed apse contains a magnificent mosaic featuring the river of life described in today's first reading. Being the cathedral for the bishop of Rome (the pope), this church has long been considered the headwaters for the grace that flows to all the churches throughout the world.

The prophet Ezekiel uses this image of life-giving water to give us a message of hope: God can bring life to our dead places. We all have dry areas in our life where we need God's refreshing water, don't we? Perhaps it's a broken relationship in which hurts and misunderstandings have left us lonely or drained of love. Maybe our prayer seems dry, and it has been a long time since we have felt close to God. Or maybe someone we love is suffering, and we feel helpless to change anything and hopeless that anything will ever change.

Whatever your desert may be, know that God wants to bring his refreshing water there. Ezekiel saw this water flowing out from the Temple, God's dwelling place. But St. Paul reminds us that we are all temples of God and that the Holy Spirit already lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). So sit quietly today. Imagine yourself stepping into a refreshing waterfall, and invite the living water of the Spirit to flow over and through you. Ask the Spirit to penetrate your dry areas and revive them. Then wait patiently on the Lord. Give him time, and trust in his love. Your dry places can come to life!

"Jesus, let your living water flow through the barren parts of my heart. Lord, I need your life!"

Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17John 2:13-22



Today's first Holy Scripture said "... 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..." and no other image should be appearing in your mind and heart than that of Jesus our Christ our Savior, our Love. It's easy to envision it, Christ faces east and water flows to the right of His side when they pierce His side with a lance after being crucified....and water and blood flows and a conversion begins to transform the arid land that had lost the true meaning of with God, for the new Adam had entered and new life, a new beginning, a new chosen people began to transform the world of darkness and continues to this day.

We pray today "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" and these waters are blood and water, glory, sacrifice, obedience, honor, true honoring of our Lord and these types of sacrifices gladden the city of God, to see one that is a true light of the Lord, a temple that is not darkened nor abandoned nor filled by other things.

And so our Lord enters our life, this time with cords made into whips. When I play chords on my guitar, as I did yesterday at a funeral Mass, I know I am playing chords to whip out evil, darkness, doom and gloom. I am in a sense, combating darkness. It is scary I guess, but I can not effectively do it without being into grace, into light, into good, into a sincere love of God, and neighbor. One must be surrendered to God truly. Because when one goes to church, one goes burdened, full of worldly thoughts and anxieties, right? And how do you leave? You see, what happened in the times of our Lord's arrival into the temple, was a perfect time to drive out the evil spirits that were taking over, human precepts even, where trade and money was thought would make for a beautiful temple. A secret I will divulge now: I've been in our pastoral council for over a decade, and in doing so, I've been proposing to make a bigger church hall, and now years later, even maybe a bigger and newer church, and we are getting close in our fundraising to start at least a hall and more classrooms. It has been years in the works, and much has been involved in it, I've proposed floor plans, I've contacted construction companies, we've got land purchased, we did demolition and clearing of land throughout the last few years, even closing off a purchased street land, which caused a ruckus with a nearby school and traffic control. It has been, in a word, a fiasco, and I get tired of dealing with money, people now demanding the building or demanding their money back. I believe we've missed the point. We have to take a breather and realize what I've been granted as a heart revelation: We are building our church by working on a church. So if I put you into a project, it becomes about teamwork, team building, and tightening the team, making strong bonds, and what is important here is faith, our bond with Jesus who is right in here with us all!

Jesus converts the ark of the covenant.
Jesus transforms and illuminates the commandments.
Jesus transforms and converts the temple into light.
Today, our Lord is in the temple. Even the temple of our bodies. Especially when He enters through the Holy Eucharist.
What is being built is a Holy Temple in the New Jerusalem.
And we are workers, slaving away, so happy, so joyful to be a part of this amazing structure being held together by Love.
If you are not into this, this building, this beautifying of this temple, this glorifying, this sacrifice with blood, sweat, and tears, you are missing out!
I think many won't get into it because of what it will take.
Indeed, Jesus says ""Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29
What will it cost you? For some, it costs too much. It will mean leaving what you love love God most.
For those who give already to God, it gets easier. To give more becomes easier, the more you fall in love with Him.

And some don't count the cost.

God saw what it would cost to come into the world and save the world. It cost Him the Love of His life...His only Son, God Himself.

It's our turn



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