A most unusual feast! The Lateran Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome an ancient church first built near the walls of the city of Rome by the Emperor Constantine at the beginning of the fourth century. Every Diocese in the world celebrates the feast of the Dedication of their own Cathedral, since the cathedral is the mother and head of all the churches in the Diocese. The Lateran Basilica, since it is the place where the Pope has his “cathedra” or Episcopal throne, has the title “Mother and Head of all the Churches of the City and the World”. On this day we both celebrate and pray for the unity of those churches gathered in communion with the successor of Saint Peter. The marbles and mosaics of the Lateran, which together form a splendid and beautiful building, are a sign of the beauty of God’s family, the Church, gathered in worship – the living stones of the temple of the Lord. This is a day to reflect on how this building, and cathedrals and churches everywhere are not just meeting-places, but visible signs to the world of the Body of Christ in prayer.
First Reading: Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
Second Reading: 1Cor 3:9-11, 16-17
Gospel: John 2: 13-22
God is for us a refuge and strength, a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea. The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within, it cannot be shaken; God will help it at the dawning of the day. The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Come, consider the works of the Lord, the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.