DEDICATION OF THE
LATERAN BASILICA IN ROME
Psalter: Proper / (White)
Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.
1st Reading: Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple and I saw water coming out from the threshold of the temple and flowing eastward. The temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the temple, from the south side of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside, to the outer gate facing the east; and there I saw the stream coming from the south side.
He said to me, “This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul-smelling water, the water will become wholesome. Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful; and the seawater will become fresh. Wherever it flows, life will abound.
Near the river on both banks, there will be all kinds of fruit trees, with foliage that will not wither; and fruit that will never fail; each month they will bear a fresh crop, because the water comes from the temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing.
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17
Gospel: Jn 2:13-22
As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the moneychangers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop making a marketplace of my Father’s house!”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house devours me like fire.
The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?”
Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.
Do we know what matters in life and what doesn’t? Are we caught and obsessed by the world’s focus on wealth and security? Jesus threw out the moneychangers because their ever-expanding market was eclipsing the real meaning of the temple. The temple had started to look like just any old Jerusalem flea market. The people forgot that God’s house was most definitely not just any old place and worst a business area. Jesus wanted to shake people up so they could remember what mattered most in worshipping God. Jesus’ fellow Jews had the wrong focus. They saw the temple as their own accomplishment in which they could do whatever they wanted because it was, after all, their temple. Jesus reminded them that it was God’s place, or was supposed to be, and if they didn’t perceive the presence of the living God there, then there was nothing distinctive about the temple at all. What Jesus did literally shook things up and so the leaders asked Jesus to produce some credentials to authorize the bold and brazen thing he had just done. Jesus said “Destroy this Temple and I’ll raise it back up in three days.” A bold claim, of course. John was not referring to the temple as building but to a deeper reality, that the “temple” in question was Jesus’ own body. Jesus, the embodiment of God’s presence was standing right in front of these people but they were far more impressed with brick-and-mortar than they were with flesh-and-blood presence of someone who made God closer to their lives by focusing not on making business there but reminding them that the Father’s house is ultimately not about making money but worshipping God as the ultimate source of blessing and grace.
Daily Reflection 2018
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
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