Sunday November 9, 2014
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Lectionary: 671 (NAB Translation)
This is another Sunday with a unique feast. Instead of the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are celebrating the feast of dedication of the world’s Cathedral – The Basilica of St John Lateran, seat of the Bishop of Rome (a.k.a the pope).
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
This week’s first reading from the prophet Ezekiel is rich in beautiful symbolism of the supreme, life-giving temple. On the surface this appears to be about a literal temple, but the water flowing forth from its side reveals that the temple is a symbol for the body of Jesus that will be broken and pierced for the sake of our sins. The water which pours forth from the side of the temple is what restores life to all of creation. It renews an abundant life that had been thirsting for so long. The fruit brought forth from this nourishes and heals.
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
- (5) The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
1 Corinthians 3:9C-11, 16-17
This week’s second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians turns this language of a temple around and provides insight into what it means for us personally. Not only does Jesus speak of Himself through symbolism of the temple, St Paul is pointing out that we are all individual temples of the Holy Spirit and worthy of the same dignity.
In our contemporary culture, the world often tries to strip away the worth of the body and trivializes it for the sake objectification and for use rather than respect. If we hold these words of St Paul to be true, then we must work hard to remind ourselves and the world the inherit value of all people.
This week’s Gospel from St John has special wording that gives us clear indication that this Gospel was written several years after the other Gospels. First, we hear that Jesus gets very upset at the state He finds the temple. He was full of righteous anger that directed Him to correct them and even kick out those selling. Understandably, they were also upset by His actions and confronted Him. When they ask Jesus for the source of His authority and power, He tells them that He will tear down the Temple and rebuilt it in three days. St John takes this time to explain the symbolism Jesus is implying about His own body as the Temple. Here we can see the clear connection between the Gospel and the prophesied temple that would bring forth new life.
A Reflection Question from Bishop Vásquez
- In today’s Gospel, Jesus fashioned a whip and “cleaned house.” He drove out the animals, the sellers and the money changers from the Temple. What do you need to clean out from your heart? Pray for the strength to do it.