November 9, 2014 – Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
As today is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, each of the readings relates in some way to churches — the buildings in which we worship. The Lateran Basilica is the official Church of Rome and the Pope, not St. Peter with which we tend to associate the Vatican.
The first reading from Ezekiel speaks of the temple and the holy, living waters which flow from it. Ezekiel 47 reminds us that what occurs inside the church building is incredibly important, the Eucharist, called in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the “source and summit of our Christian life.”
Churches and holy waters are a principal part of our Catholic faith. We enter the church through Baptism, and as we enter our Catholic churches, we find holy water to remind us of that Baptism and to prompt us to remember that we are in a holy place, a place where we gather as a community, united as the Body of Christ. We are the stewards of this church, this holy place where we can disregard the burdens of the world and join together to receive the life giving waters of the Word and the Eucharist. Yes, we are the church, but there is more to it than that. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “In him you are also being built together into a dwelling place for God.”