Ordinary Time: November 9th
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Other Titles: Dedication of St. John Lateran
Behold God’s dwelling with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself with them will be their God.
Gospel Verse, 2 Chr 7:16:
I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, that my name may be there forever.
Gospel Excerpt, Jn 2:13-22:
Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
Preface: The Mystery of the Church, the Bride of Christ and the Temple of the Spirit:
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.For in your benevolence you are pleased
to dwell in this house of prayer
in order to perfect us as the temple of the Holy Spirit,
supported by the perpetual help of your grace
and resplendent with the glory of a life acceptable to you.
Year by year you sanctify the Church, the Bride of Christ,
foreshadowed in visible buildings,
so that, rejoicing as the mother of countless children,
she may be given her place in your heavenly glory.And so, with Angels and Saints,
we praise you, as without end we acclaim:
Communion Antiphon, Cf. 1 Pt 2:5:
Be built up like living stones, into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the oldest and highest ranking of the four major basilicas in Rome. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, the official ecclesiastical seat of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, not St. Peter's Basilica as so many mistakenly believe. The Basilica is also called the Church of Holy Savior or the Church of St. John Baptist. In ancient Rome this was the church where everyone was baptized. It the oldest church in the West, built in the time of Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. This feast became a universal celebration in honor of the archbasilica, the ecclesiastical mother church, called "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world" (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput), as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter.
The Temple of Stones is a Symbol of the Living Church
Today the liturgy celebrates the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, called “mother and head of all the churches of the city and the world.” In fact, this basilica was the first to be built after Emperor Constantine’s edict, in 313, granted Christians freedom to practice their religion.
- Learn more about St. John Lateran.
- See the official website of the archbasilica.
- Read more about the Church of Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano
- This basilica represents the place of baptism, so it would be a good time to renew your baptismal promises.
- It also represents heaven, so we can meditate on the joys of heaven and God's generosity in giving us sufficient graces to be saved.
- Since St. John Lateran is the Pope's church, say a prayer for our Holy Father.
- To celebrate with food, bake a bundt cake, maybe using a "cathedral pan" to remind us of the church structure.
- From the Catholic Culture Library: Mother Church of the World.