The Gospel Today
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
John 2: 13-22
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.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.
In my younger days, all I know is that the church is a place of worship and God resides in it. I have always thought of the physical church that time. I am right that it is a place of worship but later, as I gain wisdom with my faith, I come to know that the Church is not the physical structure that men raise up. It is important that we have a dwelling to worship and adore God, but the real Church is the people. The individuals make up the Church.
Jesus says, “When two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst.” I feel that if we wholeheartedly pray together, in one mind and spirit, we radiate the true meaning of the Church. Most of the time I experience an animated feeling…of joy, if I see that my brothers and sisters participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In singing songs, praying together, and the smiles we see on each other during the sign of peace. I get the impression of the holiness among the people. Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraph 823), “The Church…is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy’, loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.” The Church, then, is the “holy People of God,” and her members are called “saints.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus got angry because people seemed to desecrate the temple, the house of His Father by doing trades outside instead of making it a place of worship and adoration for God. Upon the Jews’ questioning His authority in doing the temple’s cleansing, He told them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” He was speaking then about the temple of His body…the renewed Church He would build.
Let us put to mind that the Church is a place of worship where we pray in adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and for our own supplication. Let us revere it with love as Christ loves us, His people, the Church.