Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
If we ever thought that our sacred spaces, our churches, were just brick and mortar, we are reminded today that our places of worship are much more than a building. We have only to look at our Catholic heritage and look in awe at the magnificent basilicas and cathedrals that still stand, representing a time when the church made an architectural statement—the Catholic Church is here. The politics were fierce, but our take away is that these holy places still bring pilgrims in search of the holy. The voices of the world shout down the voice of the church, and we have all the more reason to examine ourselves and our relationship to the sacred.
Today’s feast of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome is a day for all Catholics to appreciate our roots and legacy. The relics of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Peter are here. It is these relics and those in our churches that unite us to our faith foundation.
We are connected to sacred space. We are the living stones. Just as we are sanctified by water and oils, so too our own sacred spaces, when consecrated, are sprinkled with water, and the altar is consecrated with oil.
Cautioned by Saint Paul to be aware that our faith foundation is Jesus Christ, and as we care for our spiritual temple, we are to preserve our sacred spaces, for they represent the strength of our faith community. It would be easy to remark that as the church building goes, so goes the faith of the community. The premise doesn’t necessarily hold, but if we could only seek out our sacred space and find there the place where we need to be.
Let Us Pray:
Lord, send your Spirit from heaven to make this church an ever-holy place, and this altar a ready table for the sacrifice of Christ. (Prayer of Dedication)
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