One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

November 09, 2006

For the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, 9 November

John 2:13-22

A pagan Roman basilica was an audience hall with a throne.
In the imperial basilicas, Romans offered worship to the emperor in person or to his statue.
In the year of our Lord 313, the emperor Constantine decreed freedom for the Christian faith.
Constantine’s wife, Fausta Lateran, had given her family’s palace and basilica to Constantine as her wedding dowry.
Constantine now gave the Lateran palace and basilica to the pope.
In the name of Christ the Lord, the Church “invaded” the imperial basilica, purged it of imperial idolatry, and renamed it “The Church of Our Most Holy Savior.”
Christ, his Father and the Holy Spirit now claimed all worship in this former temple of Caesar.
The Gospel of Christ now rang out in Rome’s first Christian basilica— even today’s very Gospel— Christ declaring his lordship over the basilica, too: “MY Father’s house.”
The Church is the House of OUR Father.
God the Father has received us into it as his sons and daughters.
Together with Christ, each of us may lay claim to the Church as “MY Father’s house.”
Today in his Gospel, Christ teaches us that the Church is also his Body.
His own Immortal Flesh already embraces our own mortal bodies.
His own Healing Blood is already married to our wounded nature.
Christ the Son of God claims each of us and all together as his own Body.
Zeal for US consumes the Son of God, and he fights to drive from us, as from his own body, the disease and commerce of sin.
The Church is also the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Each one of us in the Church is also a temple of the Holy Spirit.
The FATHER sends the SPIRIT of his SON into our hearts.
From within our hearts, the SPIRIT sends up the SON’S cry of “ABBA— FATHER!” into the heart of the FATHER. [See Galatians 4:6.]
This is what Saint Paul says [see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17].
You are the temple of God…
the Spirit of God dwells in you…
the temple of God,
which you are,
is holy

In his own Flesh and Blood, the Son of God would charge into each of our hearts as into his own holy temple.
May his loving zeal for the Father’s house consume us, and may our own repentance and faith work with him to drive the commerce of sin from our lives.

That God Be Glorified in All


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