1 Corinthians 3: 9-17
Today our Church celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. This Basilica is also a cathedral – not every basilica is a cathedral nor every cathedral a basilica. In this case, the Basilica is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and it is the home church for the Bishop of Rome, that is, the Pope.
The Basilica is the oldest of the major Basilicas in Rome, dedicated in 318AD. The name Lateran is derived from the name of the family where the cathedral was built. There was a point in history when the papacy was located in France. When the Pope returned to Rome, they found the Basilica in shambles so the headquarters for the Pope was moved to St. Peter’s and the Basilica was completed by Pope Innocent X in 1655 AD.
Recently, I had the chance to attend Mass at the Basilica – it was incredible. The holiness of the God experience is rather overwhelming. That, I believe, is what Jesus was getting at in today’s gospel. Our Catholic churches, our places of worship, are places of close relationship with God. Our Catholic churches are where Jesus is alive in the Eucharist. We need to always consider them precious, and treat them with great respect.
When we enter our churches, there is always holy water reminding us of our baptism, and a crucifix reminding us of the great love God has for us. And there is of course, a tabernacle in which lives the very body and blood of Christ our Lord. When you enter a Catholic church, do you feel that sense of awe and hear God calling you? Do you get the sense that God is smiling at you because you have come to spend time with Him?
Smile at God today – He is smiling at you!