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Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Scriptural Readings: Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Psalm 46: 2-3, 5-6, 8-9; 1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22

My dear encountered couples:

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of St. John’s Lateran Basilica in Rome. It was built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century and is considered the mother church of all Christendom. It is, therefore, a very important church building, but what makes it important is Christ dwelling in it.

But there are houses of God even more important than St. John Lateran or any church ever built by human hands. These houses are built and fashioned by God. They are created in his image and likeness. As you have already guessed, I am talking about us. Human beings, men and women, boys and girls are the churches, the temples of God, much more precious and deserving of respect than any cathedral, basilica, or church building that Constantine or anybody else ever built. We put millions into new churches, we dedicate them with great pomp and ceremony, then we lock them up in fear that someone will harm them and steal their treasures.

You and I are not so protected, yet we are much more precious than any church building or their material treasures. We must realize our value; we must realize the worth of one another. We are houses in which God lives on earth, we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Though we don’t genuflect to one another, we could try to become a bit more aware that Jesus is in us. Let us not lock the doors to our hearts to keep him in, but open them wide so he can reach out through us to bless the people who touch our lives.

We are living, breathing, walking and talking churches. Christ is with us wherever we are, we take him wherever we go.

“Are you not aware,” writes St. Paul, “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 him. For the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.” You are as sacred as our tabernacle.

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