Wednesday, November 08, 2017
THURSDAY, 31st Week in Ordinary Time
November 9, 2017 – THURSDAY, 31st Week in Ordinary Time
DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA IN ROME
Ez 47: 1 - 2, 8- 9, 12 / 1 Cor 3: 9c- 11, 16 - 17 / Jn 2: 13- 22
Built during the reign of Emperor Constantine and consecrated by Pope St. Sylvester I in 324, the Lateran Basilica is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the "mother and head of all churches of Rome and of the world" and the venue of five general councils. It is dedicated to Christ the Savior and also to Sts. John the Baptist and John, Apostle and Evangelist.
1ST READING: Ez 47: 1 - 2, 8 - 9, 12
The man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple and I saw water coming from the threshold of the Temple and flowing eastwards. The Temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the Temple, from the south side of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing the east and there I saw the stream coming from the south side.
He said to me, "This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul-smelling water, the water will become wholesome. Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful and the sea water will become fresh. Wherever it flows, it will abound.
Near the river on both banks there will be all kinds of fruit trees with foliage that will not wither and fruit that will never fail; each month they will bear a fresh crop because the water comes from the Temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing.
We honor God when we make good use of what he has given to us in this world.
The book of Ezekiel is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on judgment and the second on restoration. The first part is about judgment against Judah and the glory of God leaving Jerusalem; the second part is about the glory of God returning to Jerusalem. That is why some have characterized the first part as "The Lord is not there" and the second as "The Lord is there."
Today's first reading belongs to the second part: the Lord is there in Jerusalem; the has returned to the temple in Jerusalem.
In many world religions, temples and places of worship are set on top of mountains just as the temple of Jerusalem sits atop Mt. Zion. Temples serve to connect earth and heaven, humans and God. And so our reading today tells that, after Judah had sinned, God forgave the Hebrews and so once again returns to the temple in Jerusalem. God is once again united with his people in his holy city.
The reading also mentions the four corners of the world - west and north, east and south. West is presumed when it says that the water is flowing towards the east. With the mention of the four cardinal directions, the reading considers the Jerusalem temple as the center of the world, axis mundi, the navel of the earth. Navel, of course, brings to mind the birth of a child. Water is a symbol for life and so "there will be all kinds of fruit trees with foliage that will not wither and fruit that will never fail."
Today is the feast of the dedication of the Lateran basilica in Rome, the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, and, as such, "the mother and head of all churches of Rome and of the world." Any cathedral and any church stand for the Church and the people of God.
The next time you enter a church, be aware that the Lord is indeed there, that the church is filled with God's presence, if you have eyes of faith to see. May you also believe that, when you enter a church, you have a chance to be connected or re-connected with God.
May this encounter with God help you to grow in faith, hope and love and so exude energy, vitality and life.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
ENRIQUE LORENZO C. PANGANIBAN
KEVIN G. ALCAYDE
IN MEMORIAM (†)
HELEN C. ONG
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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