Read Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12, Ps. 46:2-3,5-6,8-9, John 2:13-22

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19)

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica which is one of the great churches in Rome. Our celebration today affords us the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of “Dedication” and its impact on our relationship with God.

To say a building or any object at all is dedicated to God is to say such can never be used for any other purpose other than for God. This is because, by the act of dedication, the presence of God has been invoked upon such.

A dedicated Church building is not any building, it is a place to meet God, a place to pray, and a place of security and peace. Walking into a dedicated Church fully conscious of God’s presence is like stepping into heaven. The beauty of a dedicated evokes the heart to pray and deepens the faith of the believer.

Ezekiel describes the house of God as a place from which flows grace, power, life, health, and wealth like a river. In today’s Gospel passage, we hear Jesus say: “you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” We must avoid using the house of God as a place of business.

Jesus angrily drove out from the temple, those who were desecrating the place by selling oxen, sheep, and doves and changing money. And when asked what sign he would give to show he had the authority to cleanse the temple, he responded: “Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up.” Jesus was speaking of the temple of his own body.

As much as we must respect the house of God, we must never forget that our very bodies are also dedicated temples of God. Today, we are called to do a cleansing of our minds and hearts. We are called to make a whip of cords and search through our lives for any sinful inclination or vice that pollutes the temple of our bodies. This is exactly the point St. Paul emphasizes in today’s second reading: “You are God’s building… For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.”

Never forget who you are. You are God’s temple – you carry God within you. This also means that God is in your neighbor. No wonder Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.” (Matthew 25:45). Show respect to others not on account of their riches but the mere fact that they are God’s temple.

St Paul also adds: “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.” This should give us a sense of confidence knowing that God’s armor of protection is always upon us so long as we remain God’s children. As the Psalmist would say: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, deepen my respect for your temple. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Dedication of the Lateran Basilica – Feast. Bible Study: Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12, Ps. 46:2-3,5-6,8-9, John 2:13-22)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu