Thursday, November 07, 2019
SATURDAY, 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 in 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: 1a, 8 – 9, 12
The man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple and I saw water coming out of the threshold of the Temple and flowing eastwards. . .
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, life 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 good for healing.
FROM THE 2ND READING: 1 Cor 3: 16 – 17
Do you not know that you are God's temple, and that God's Spirit abides within you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him. God's temple is holy and you are this temple.
GOSPEL READING: Jn 2: 13 – 22
As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, "Take all this away and stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!"
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your House devours me as a fire.
The Jews then questioned Jesus, "Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?" And Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then replied, "The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?"
Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.
Today's Mass readings focus on temples as the house of God, as the place where God dwells, where good things happen as a result of God's work, and therefore must be revered, preserved and protected.
The first reading uses the symbol of water to show God's dwelling as the source of life to plants, trees and animals. In the second reading Paul speaks of man's body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and thus to be kept holy.
The Gospel reading shows the usually gentle Jesus angrily driving out the merchants and all others who profaned the Temple, turning his Father's house into a market place.
When his authority to cleanse the Temple is challenged, Jesus tells them that if the Temple were destroyed he would raise it up in three days. His listeners, even his disciples, did not realize he was speaking of his own body as a Temple and of his rising from the dead in three days: "Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken."
As baptized Christians, we are all Temples of the Holy Spirit, to be reverenced, preserved and protected as holy. Following our Lord Jesus we too hope to share in his resurrection and glory.
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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