THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA
ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; 1 corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17; john 2:13-22
in 1953 reporters gathered at a chicago railway station waiting to meet the 1952 nobel peace prize winner… a big man, six-feet-four tall with bushy hair and a large moustache. reporters were excited to see him; cameras flashed; compliments were expressed.
suddenly, the man excused himself, and walked up to an elderly afro-american woman struggling to carry two large suitcases. he picked up her cases, escorted her to a bus, and then returned to the waiting reporters and apologised for keeping them waiting.
that was dr albert schweitzer, the famous missionary-doctor who had invested his life helping the poor and the sick in africa.
a member of the reception committee remarked: «that’s the first time i ever saw a sermon walking.»
dr schweitzer understood the meaning of being church: being live and alive! he was also alive to the reality around him!
on the feast of the dedication of the lateran basilica, (pope-emeritus) benedict xvi reminds us that «the temple of stones is a symbol of the living church, the christian community, which… is a ‘spiritual edifice,’ built by GOD with ‘living stones,’ namely, christians themselves.»
the readings highlight this fact.
in the first reading, ezekiel emphasises that the temple is the source of life-giving water.
through the cleansing of the temple, JESUS indicates that he is the new temple… the source of life and love.
st paul reminds the corinthians that they are GOD’s holy building with CHRIST as their foundation. and therefore, they need to build their lives carefully… and live lives worthy of their calling.
do i see myself—and other christians—as church? am i—and the community of believers to which i belong—a live church and a church that is alive to the realities around me? am i a source of life and love?