November 9, 2017
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
The Gospel Today
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.”
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.
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D.O. Aclan)
Whenever we see a house, what comes first to our mind is not the structure but the people, the family that lives there. We always associate a house or even an image of it with happiness, as if the identity of a house depends on it having a happy family. Hence, the sight of a neglected or abandoned house would always evoke from within us an unexplainable sadness.
The universal Church today celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. The Lateran Basilica was the official seat of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, from the 4th to 14th century that’s why it is also called the “Mother of all Churches.” In our country, we are blessed to have a church, our spiritual home, in almost every town. Whenever we look or gaze at a church what is in our mind is the priest and the people who are praying and praising God. For us, the church is the house of God. It’s is the place for those who want to be with God.
In the Gospel, Jesus shows great concern for the house of God, the Temple. He got angry when he saw that the temple has become a trading place. Was he particularly concerned with the structure alone? I don’t think so. Jesus’ concern was with the identity of the Temple. The Temple should be a house of worship for his Father and not a trading house. The business that was conducted in the temple diminished or clouded that identity. People had become more pre-occupied with the trading that happened on the ground of the Temple than worshipping God.
By virtue of our baptism, we too, became God’s temple. That’s why, it is good to ask ourselves, how do we cherish this temple of God? Are we using our bodies just to satisfy our whims and wants or we use our bodies to give glory and praise to our God by fulfilling His will?
Quite too often, we never give attention to the spiritual aspect of our body. As Jesus cleansed the Temple by sweeping away the ungodly undertaking on its ground, it is also our responsibility to guard our bodies from all sort of impurities: lust, pride, envy, avarice, adultery and other forms of sin. If we truly make our bodies a suitable house of God, then we can be sure, He dwells in us.