November 9, 2016
(Dedication of the Lateran Basilica)
The Prophet Ezekiel wrote: The angel brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, . . . He said to me, “. . . Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; . . . Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” Ez_47:1-2,8-9,12
Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Jn_2:13-22
St. Paul wrote: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. 1_Cor_3:9c-11,16-17
Today the Church celebrates ‘the Church.’ But it’s not just the building, in which the Lateran Basilica represents the Mother of all of the Churches in the world as our center.
Our true Church IS our clergy, and our saints, and it’s us; we, who make up that most important part of its structure; all built, as St. Paul says, on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Ezekiel shows us today, the flow of God’s love out of Jerusalem’s Temple. And he shows us how that love has the power to heal and to nourish our world. He shows us how that ‘River of Love’ purifies every place into which it flows, and how it supports all Life, in abundance.
And all of that Old Testament imagery of a Temple, and a river, and love, simply prefigured a better Temple, and river, and love, that was brought to us by Jesus. Jesus became that Temple, the dwelling place of God. And from Him would flow a ‘River of Love’ that would create, in time, a whole new Temple.
From the water and blood that flowed from the piercing of Jesus on the cross, our Church was born, and baptized, and consecrated.
And in the sanctification of the Apostles on that first Pentecost morning after the Ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit consecrated every one of us, (through our Baptisms), as the New Temple of God, the Body of Christ.
So now, we ARE that River of Love, and Healing, and Nourishment for the world. And as we flow through life, smoothing out the rough stones on our way; as we flow, sometimes over rough cataracts, sometimes through stagnant ponds, and sometimes enjoying the majestic scenery of a beautiful river valley, we know that we are headed for an even more magnificent Temple: the loving Arms of God Himself in His eternal Kingdom of peace and love, which is the destiny of all His children who follow the Way of Jesus.
Today, as we set aside our worldly fears, we rest in the Spirit of God’s love. We know that He has our backs, for we ARE His children, the Temple of His Glory, the Body of Christ, the Savior of the world.
Jesus said, “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” Jn 16:33
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