A Moment before the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Sunday is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. 

What’s the Lateran Basilica?  Besides being the Pope’s Cathedral (as Bishop of Rome), as the first basilica to be built after Christianity was de-criminalized, the Lateran is dedicated as the mother church of all the churches, both in Rome and in the world. 

Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Ezekiel) is all about water flowing into a river.  Paired with Sunday’s Psalm, it shows us that the water is flowing from God, and is nothing less than the source of life itself - moving, active and dangerous, changing and shaping everything it touches.   

Sunday's Gospel (John) is the Cleansing of the Temple, where Jesus makes a whip of cords and drives the money changers out of the Temple.  Coupled with what Jesus says (listen for it in the Gospel), Jesus' actions fit perfectly with the imagery of the river, and help us to understand what is flowing from the mother church and every church in the world, something that (if we are paying attention) is very like a river bursting forth - moving, active and dangerous, changing and shaping everything it touches.  

 

Readings for the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/110914.cfm