I make my own whip.

Today is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  The Lateran is one of the oldest churches still in use, and the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.  Which means that the Lateran (and not St. Peter’s) is the Pope’s home church. 

Today’s Gospel (John) is the Cleansing of the Temple.  After making a whip out of cords, Jesus drives the money changers out of the Temple, overturning their tables and pouring their money out on the ground.  For a feast about dedicating a building, it seems like an odd choice. 

The Lateran is the Pope's cathedral, symbolically the place that our faith flows from.  So what does an act of violence by Jesus have to do with the mother church for Rome and for the world? 

Given what Jesus actually says when He’s driving them out, what He does makes perfect sense.  It tells us exactly the sort of church that’s supposed to be at the heart of our faith.  And exactly the sort of Church we’re supposed to be. 

Readings for the Lateran Basilica