Monday 9 November 2020
The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12. The waters of the river gladden the city of God – Psalm 45(46):2-3, 5-6, 8-9. 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17. John 2:13-22.
Christ’s mission of service
The Lateran Archbasilica has from 324 CE been the Cathedral of the Bishops of Rome. The Basilica was dedicated to Christ, and subsequently to St John the Baptist, and St John the Evangelist. This great and ancient building is a living symbol of the Church which Jesus founded. The Scriptures’ rich imagery of a great river, bringing life and blessing, flowing out from the temple presents as God’s dream of what the Church could be. But the Gospel shows Jesus cleansing a Temple which has strayed far from this dream, peddling the values of the marketplace instead. St Paul goes even further. It’s not just a matter of buildings. ‘Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?’
Although the Lateran is celebrated as the Mother Church of all churches, it remains a parish church, for all its splendour. The Parish Priest of the Lateran is Pope Francis, who reminds us of Christ’s mission of service: “Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.”Email this Print This Page