HOMILY FOR THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA.
THEME: YOU ARE GOD’S TEMPLE.
BY: FR GERALD M. MUSA.
After the death of Jesus, his followers who were under the yoke of persecution worshipped in houses, open spaces, and catacombs. The Lateran Basilica in Rome was the first Church building in the world and occupies a pride of place in Christian history. It is celebrated annually on 9th November because it was publicly consecrated on 9th November 324. It is also known as the mother of Churches and a symbol of the common history of Christians. It was the residence of many Popes and also the venue of various ecumenical councils. As we celebrate this great edifice, we also recall that Jesus teaches us a new concept of the temple and Church. He referred to his body as the temple that will be destroyed and rebuilt in three days (John 2:19). Therefore, the Church, as the body of Christ consists of people and not only a physical building. St. Paul writes to the followers of Christ saying, “Brethren, you are God’s building” and “You are the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 3:9; 6:19).
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This means that the Spirit of God does not only dwell in the physical place of worship but also dwells in each person. When Jesus cleansed the temple, he was teaching his followers how necessary it is to cleanse every sacred space, including our hearts. Are we always conscious of the Spirit of God who dwells in each of us?
EZEKIEL 47:1-2.8-9.12; 1 CORINTHIANS 3:9C-11.16-17; JOHN 2:13-22
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica