Friday, November 10, 2006


Feast, Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

November 9, 2006
Feast, Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

EZEKIEL 43:1-2, 4-7

Then he led me to the gate which faces the east, and there I saw the
glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. I heard a sound like
the roaring of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. as the
glory of the LORD entered the temple by way of the gate which faces the
east, but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court. And I
saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD. Then I heard
someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me: Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will dwell among
the Israelites forever. Never again shall they and their kings profane
my holy name with their harlotries and with the corpses of their kings
(their high places).

1 CORINTHIANS 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.

JOHN 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.


Why do we have a special celebration of the dedication of a basilica?
St. John Lateran is the oldest and ranks first among the four great
"patriarchal" basilicas of Rome. The palace of the family of the
Laterani in ancient times occupied the site.

Through the years, the palace came eventually into the hands of
Constantine, the first Christian emperor. Constantine must have given
it to the Church, and a council against the Donatists was held there as
early as 313. From that time onwards it was always the center of
Christian life within the city, the residence of popes and the
cathedral of Rome.

In the Gospel reading, we find a very unusual Jesus. The Gospel usually
describes Jesus as a gentle, loving, compassionate, and forgiving
person. All of a sudden we see his violent angry outburst in the Gospel
reading today. What triggers this violent outburst of anger?

The scripture scholars, William Barclay explains that the Passover was
the greatest of all Jewish feasts. And the law prescribed that all
adult male Jew who lived within fifteen miles of Jerusalem are bound to
attend it. And at the time of Jesus, the Jews were scattered all over
the world, but they never forget their ancestral faith and their
ancestral land. And it was the dream and aspiration of every Jew, no
matter where they live, to celebrate at least one Passover in
Jerusalem. For this reason, thousands, perhaps millions of pilgrims
flock to Jerusalem for the Passover.

There was a Temple tax that every Jew over nineteen years of age must
pay. The tax was equivalent to two days' wages. For all normal
purposes in Palestine, all kinds of currency were valid. But the Temple
tax had to be paid either in Galilean shekels or in the shekels of the
sanctuary. These were Jewish coins, and so could be used as a gift to
the Temple. The other currencies were foreign and therefore unclean.

Pilgrims arrived from all over the world with all kinds of coins. So in
the Temple courts there sat the moneychangers. If their trade had been
honest and just, they would have been fulfilling an honest and
necessary service. But they manipulated and charged excessive exchange
rates, taking advantage and victimizing the pilgrims. It was a rampant
and shameless social injustice - and what was worse, it was being
done in the name of religion, in the name of serving God

Aside from the moneychangers there were also the sellers of oxen, sheep
and doves. Frequently a visit to the Temple meant a sacrifice. Many a
pilgrim would wish to make a thanksgiving offering for a favorable
journey to the Holy City; and most acts and events in life had their
appropriate sacrifice. It might therefore seem to be natural and
helpful thing that the animals for the sacrifice could be bought in the
Temple court. It might well have been so. But the law was that any
animal offered in sacrifice must be perfect and unblemished. The Temple
authorities had appointed inspectors to examine the animals, which were
to be offered. And for this there was a fee for inspection.

If a worshipper bought an animal outside the Temple, it would most
likely be rejected after examination. Again that might not have
mattered much, but a pair of doves, for example, inside the Temple
court could cost about 200 times more than those sold outside. Here
again a open extortion at the expense of poor and humble pilgrims, who
were practically blackmailed into buying their victims from the Temple
booths if they wished to sacrifice at all - once more a glaring
social injustice aggravated by the fact that it was perpetrated in the
name of pure religion.

It was the exploitation of the pilgrims by conscienceless men connected
with people in authority in the Temple that moved Jesus to such anger
and violence. Because Jesus loved God, as he loved God's children,
and it was impossible for him to stand passively by while the
worshippers of Jerusalem were being victimized that way.

But there was an even deeper reason behind the cleansing of the Temple.
Matthew's account says, "My house shall be called a house of
prayer, but you make it a den of robbers." (Matt. 21:13). Mark puts
it, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. But
you have made it a den of robbers." (Mark 11:17). Luke has it, "My
house shall be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of
robbers" (Luke 19:46). John has it: "Take these things away; you
shall not make my Father's house a house of trade" (John 2:16).

Jesus acted as he did because God's house was being desecrated. In
the Temple there was worship without reverence. Reverence is an
instinctive thing. Worship without reverence is a terrible thing. It
may be worship, which is formalized and pushed through in any way; the
most dignified prayers on earth can be read like a passage from an
auctioneer's catalogue. It may be worship, which does not realize the
holiness of God. Jesus acted to show that no sacrifice of any animal
could ever put a man right with God.

The Temple authorities and the Jewish traders were making the Court of
the Gentiles into noisy market place, where no man could pray. The
noise from the sheep and oxen, the cooing of the doves, the shouts of
vendors, the jingle of coins from the vendors - all these combined to
make the Court of the Gentiles a place where no man could pray and
worship. The conduct of the Temple court shut out the Gentiles from
seeking the presence of God. It may be this that was uppermost in the
mind of Jesus. Jesus was moved to the depth of his heart, because
devout men were being shut out from the presence of God.

Is there in our Church life today - a snobbishness, superiority
complex, an exclusiveness, a coldness, a lack of welcome, a tendency to
make the congregation into a closed club, an arrogance, a rigidity-
which keeps the searching stranger out? Let us remember the wrath of
Jesus against those who made it difficult and even impossible for the
searching stranger to make contact with God.

Are we God's evangelizers, or God's problem?

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Wilhelmina K. Ochoa
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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© 2006 Daily-Homily


Memorial, St. Martin of Tours, bishop

November 11, 2006
Memorial, St. Martin of Tours, bishop
Saturday 31st Week in Ordinary Time - Yr II


Brothers and sisters: I rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at last
you revived your concern for me. You were, of course, concerned about
me but lacked an opportunity. Not that I say this because of need, for
I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be
self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I
know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all
things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for
everything through him who empowers me. Still, it was kind of you to
share in my distress. You Philippians indeed know that at the beginning
of the Gospel, when I left Macedonia, not a single church shared with
me in an account of giving and receiving, except you alone. For even
when I was at Thessalonica you sent me something for my needs, not only
once but more than once. It is not that I am eager for the gift;
rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account. I have
received full payment and I abound. I am very well supplied because of
what I received from you through Epaphroditus, "a fragrant aroma," an
acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. My God will fully supply
whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

LUKE 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, make friends for yourselves
with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into
eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in
very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you
are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true
wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who
will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will
either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise
the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." The Pharisees, who loved
money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them,
"You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your
hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of


Is Jesus presenting to us an unattainable ideal? Is he urging us to
take on ourselves a life-style that in modern society it's impossible
to live out? Not at all.

Jesus is condemning here neither the possession nor the use of money
and material things. Many people insist that the saying, "Money is
the root of all evil," is found in the Bible. It's not. Paul,
however, in his letter to Timothy, the young bishop in the early
Church, does remark, "the love of money is the root of all evil."
"The love of money" and "money" do not mean the same thing.
Paul, after all, in today's first reading thanks the Philippians for
the financial support they have sent him.

It is not money that Jesus condemns, but the making of money into an
idol, a false god we worship, dedicating all our time and effort to its
pursuit, so lusting for it that its pursuit relegates to secondary
importance all else in our lives, all else - family, friends,
integrity, faith, even God himself.

As Jesus points out, God and material success cannot coexist in us as
equals. One, to the exclusion of the other, will exercise dominion over
us. It's impossible to keep the two in perfect balance. It's true
therefore that we cannot serve God and money. But it's quite
legitimate to make use of money in the service of God, to serve God
with money. The married couple has a religious duty to use money in the
support and development of their children.

In our world where materialism and consumerism are gods and powerfully
seductive idols, we constantly have to question ourselves: do we make
the acquisition of wealth a goal in itself or a means to a higher goal?

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Adeliada G. Imperial.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Fr. Peter Chuang, S.J.
- Birthday: Barbara Lam Lim
- In Memoriam (+): Ng Cen
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

Feel free to forward this to your friends, family and associates!

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "DAILY-HOMILY" group.
To subscribe email:
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
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© 2006 Daily-Homily

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