Saturday, 9 November 2019 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this great day and occasion, we together with the whole Church, the entire Christendom rejoice for the Holy Mother Church, because today we mark the anniversary of the Dedication of the great Mother and Head of all the churches of the whole entire world. On this day we mark solemnly the remembrance of the Dedication of the great Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, which is also the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, our Pope.

The Basilica of St. John Lateran was one of the earliest churches to be built after the ending of the official persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire, after the Emperor Constantine the Great extended toleration of Christians through the Edict of Milan and soon took up the Christian cause by donating lands and money to support the growing Christian Church, beginning a vigorous program of church buildings, including that of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in the middle of the ancient city of Rome.

A lot of people may not know that the Basilica of St. John Lateran or the Lateran Basilica is actually the Cathedral of the Pope and not the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican. Although the latter Basilica is truly of great importance, second only to that of the Lateran Basilica, being the Basilica built over the Tomb of St. Peter and his place of martyrdom and being the largest and most wonderful of all churches in Christendom by architecture and also being the place where the Pope celebrates most of his liturgical celebrations, but it is in the Lateran Basilica that the Cathedra of the Bishop of Rome is placed.

A Cathedral is the mother church of the entire diocese and is the seat of the bishop, as that is where the Cathedra or the official seat or throne of the bishop is placed. Since the earliest days of the Church and also following ancient customs, the seat of authority is the mark of a ruler’s authority and power, and they are also used to denote the teaching and preaching authority in religious context. When Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death, he was also seated on the Seat of Judgement, or Gabbatha in Hebrew.

Similarly therefore, the bishop’s Cathedra is the preeminent symbol of his authority over the whole diocese, and the church where the Cathedra is placed, is called the Cathedral of the diocese, the most important and preeminent of all the churches in that entire diocese. In the same way therefore, the Cathedra of the Popes being located in the Lateran Basilica means that the Lateran Basilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and its most important church.

And Rome being the heart and centre of all Christendom being the seat of the Vicar of Christ as the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle made the Lateran Basilica all the more important, as this particular House of God and church is not just an ordinary Cathedral for any bishops, but is the Cathedral and the primary church of the Vicar of Christ, the Pope himself. As a result, this is reflected in its title being the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour, dedicated to both St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and also given the additional title of being the Head and Mother of all the churches in Rome and in the whole world.

Therefore today, we rejoice with the whole church for this Dedication anniversary and remembrance of the greatest church and House of God on earth, calling to mind the suffering and the pains endured by the many martyrs of the early Church who had to go through persecutions before the triumph of Christianity and the faith in the time when this great Basilica was built, as a symbol of victory of the true faith over the pagan religions and the false gods of ancient Rome.

And also, we reaffirm our loyalty, obedience and unity to the Church of Rome, to the Vicar of Christ, currently His Holiness Pope Francis, the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle as the leader of the entire universal Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. By celebrating this Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, we show our unity to the whole Church, and adhering ourselves to the bounds and the rules of the Universal Church as espoused in the divine authority invested in our Popes, seated on his Cathedra in the Lateran Basilica.

This is why we have to keep in mind this unity and this faith we have, which is very important, considering the many bitter divisions of Christians over the past two millennia, bitter divisions that still last to this very day, although efforts had been made towards the reunion of the splintered Church of God. We have to pray fervently and do our best in whatever small ways we can do, to maintain and foster unity among all Christians.

Hopefully one day, soon, the entire Christendom and all those who believe in the Lord will be reunited as one united Church as how it was in the early days of the Church, united under the leadership of the Vicar of Christ, the Pope and Bishop of Rome, together with the entire episcopate, the College of Bishops and all the leaders of the Church. This is why as we celebrate today’s glorious occasion we also have to pray for the unity in the Church and also the unity of all Christians.

And now, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all today also called to reflect on ourselves, for one thing that we must also not forget is the fact that each and every one of us are truly also Temple of God’s Holy Presence, where God truly dwells and made us all to be His House. His Spirit He has given to us, and through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, by which He has transformed the essence of bread and wine into His own Precious Body and Blood, we have received Him into ourselves.

Therefore, all of us are God’s living Church, the true Church of God that is even more important than all the physical church buildings we have. For while all those churches are built by men, we are all built by God Himself, and we were made to be good and perfect, had it not been for sins that made us to be defiled and corrupted. And yet, God’s love for each and every one of us is still so great that despite even all of that, He wants to forgive us and be reconciled with us.

And thus, we have to realise just how seriously we have to take God’s love for us, His compassion and merciful heart always directed towards us. If we take very good care of our churches and make sure that only the best are given to God, in our worship and in the careful prescription of the liturgical laws and norms, then we must also show the same attitude and commitment in our own lives as well. For we are all God’s living Church, and He is truly present within us.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the famous story of the Lord Jesus clearing the Temple from all the merchants who were peddling their goods and exchanging money in the courtyards of the Temple. In that story, we saw the Lord’s great anger as He chased out all those merchants and overturned all their tables and ceased all of their transactions, all because they have actually defiled the sanctity of the Temple by their actions.

The context of this action was that those merchants were tolerated or were probably even encouraged by the Temple authorities as they were beneficial to each other, with the merchants’ livelihood depending on the presence of the Temple and its many worshippers and visitors and the continuous activities in that Temple. Meanwhile, the Temple authorities, the priests and the elders gained from the presence of the bustling merchant activities as they were the ones who also sold the necessary sacrificial animals to the worshippers coming to the Temple.

However, as they did so, they ended up being greedy and corrupt in their practices, tricking the worshippers coming from afar by being unfair and unjust, as the prophets themselves once foretold, of the wickedness of those who would treat their brethren with contempt and seeking only their personal benefits, overcharging for their goods and services, and gaining plenty of profits from the losses incurred by innocent people who came to the Lord seeking to worship Him.

That was why the Lord was rightfully angry, as He cleared the Temple grounds from all those corruptions as a stern reminder for each and every one of us, that we should not allow those corruptions from defiling our own House of God either, that is the Temple of our body, our heart, mind, soul and our whole being, for God is truly present in us, and He Who dwells in us is all holy and perfect. Should we willingly and consciously defile our own Temple, we shall suffer grievously in the end.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, having been reminded that we are all God’s living Church and that we are the Temple of His holy Presence, let us all strive from now on to be righteous and to be faithful in all things. Let us all distance ourselves from sin and from its many temptations, so that while we may fall into sin again from time to time, but by our resolve and by our desire to love God wholeheartedly, we will always remain anchored strongly to God.

Let us all strive to be holy and be exemplary in our actions in life from now on then, so that we may be beacons of light and hope for our fellow brethren, that despite the challenges and darkness in our lives, we will always be focused on God and will be ever closer to Him. Let us all seek to love God and be faithful to Him ever more, with each and every passing days. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 9 November 2019 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 2 : 13-22

At that time, 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 money-changers, 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.

Saturday, 9 November 2019 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 45 : 2-3, 5-6, 8-9

God is our strength and protection, an ever-present help in affliction. We will not fear, therefore; though the earth be shaken and the mountains plunge into the seas.

There is a river whose streams bring joy to the City of God, the holy place, where the Most High dwells. God is within, the city cannot quake, for God’s help is upon it at the break of day.

For with us is YHVH of hosts, the God of Jacob, our refuge. Come, see the works of YHVH – the marvellous things He has done in the world.

Saturday, 9 November 2019 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 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.”

Alternative reading

1 Corinthians 3 : 9c-11, 16-17

But you are God’s field and building. I, as good architect, according to the capacity given to me, I laid the foundation, and another is to build upon it. Each one must be careful how to build upon it. No one can lay a foundation other than the One which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are God’s Temple, and that God’s Spirit abides within you? If anyone destroys the Temple of God, God will destroy him. God’s Temple is holy, and you are this Temple.

Sunday, 9 November 2014 : 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate a great feast of the whole Universal Church, and especially the Church of Rome, the heart of Christendom, as established by the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme leader of the entire Body of Christ, the Church, St. Peter the Apostle, who established his seat in the once Imperial capital of the Roman Empire, the city of Rome, and where he was martyred for his faith in God.

He is the very first Bishop of Rome, and the very first one to lead the growing faithful community there in the Imperial capital. St. Peter the Apostle is indeed also accredited with the establishment of several other important and key dioceses throughout the Empire, and indeed, the See of Antioch also had St. Peter as its first bishop and leader. However, it was in Rome, where St. Peter truly established his seat and served the people of God until he was martyred in the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero.

And when we talk about the Church, we know of the various hierarchy of structures and personnels that made up the whole universal Church, and the administrative divisions in it, which in fact mirrored closely the division of the civil administration of the Roman Empire. The name diocese, was taken from the name used to describe a provincial division of the late Roman Empire, and this is taken into the structure of the Church as a group of the faithful led by a bishop, with many priests and the laity both under his care and supervision.

Bishops are overseers and leaders of God’s people, and they also supervise and coordinate the actions and works of the priests, the holy servants of God. And the premier and the foremost of all bishops is the Bishop of Rome, who as the bishop of the very diocese where St. Peter the Apostle had established himself and martyred, is the successor of that holy saint and shepherd which our Lord Jesus Himself had entrusted with all of His faithful on earth.

St. Peter affirmed his faith in the Lord with his threefold declaration of faith, a reminder that he had once denied his Lord and God three times during the Passion. And Jesus forgave him, and entrusted him with the entire the Church, as His Vicar, by the words, “Feed My sheep.” The Bishops of Rome, the Popes, therefore inherit the same commandment which Jesus had given to Peter, to lead His entire Universal Church.

And as bishop, indeed, he has a cathedral too, the Bishop of Rome having the Cathedral of Rome as his seat. We have to take note that the Cathedral mentioned here does not refer to the largest or the most beautiful churches present in the diocese, but rather the place, the very church where the seat of the bishop is. And this seat is the bishop’s throne, or the Cathedra, where a Cathedral gets its name from.

For many of us, we may think that the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican is the Cathedral of the Pope and the principal church of Christendom. However, this was wrong. Indeed, the Basilica of St. Peter has a special importance, both as a Papal Basilica, of which there are only four in the whole world, and then because it itself is located on top of the Vatican necropolis, which was the very spot where St. Peter was martyred during the reign of the Emperor Nero.

The Basilica therefore housed the remains of St. Peter, and is also the regular residence of the Popes, and where he celebrates the majority of his liturgical functions in Rome. However, the Pope’s Cathedra as the Bishop of Rome is not located at the Basilica of St. Peter, but rather at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, located in Rome, and not in the Vatican City.

Basilica of St. John Lateran was the site of the original Lateran Basilica donated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, who was the first Christian Roman Emperor, and it became the official residence of the Popes, the adjacent Lateran Palace, and the Basilica became the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. The reason why the Popes no longer stay at the site, was because of the upheavals of two centuries ago, where worldly conflicts forced the Pope to abandon the Lateran for the safety of the Vatican, where he resided from then on.

As the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, the first and principal diocese of the Church, therefore it is also the Mother Church of the entire and whole Christendom, the very first and most important of all churches in the world, superseding even the Basilica of St. Peter, and noticed in its official name, the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran. It is the only Archbasilica in the world and was dedicated first to the Lord, who is the Saviour of the whole world, and then to both St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.

Today, we celebrate the day of the dedication of that sacred and hallowed Cathedral, the heart of the entire Christendom as the seat of the Popes. Dedication of a church is a very important event, for it is the moment when the particular location is consecrated and blessed, as a sacred and worthy space, for all the faithful to celebrate together the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and death on the cross.

This is what the first reading today is all about, the vision of Ezekiel who saw the great and holy Temple of heaven, filled with divine glory and majesty, and he saw a torrent of water coming out from the Temple. This is what the hymn which we sung at Easter, Vidi Aquam, was taken from. ‘I saw water pouring out from the Temple…’ and what is this water? It is the holy water of our baptism, a reminder for us all to be holy and pure as we are at the moment of our baptism.

This is why we have the custom of signing ourselves with the sign of the Cross and the holy water when we enter the church. This is to remind us that we are coming into the holy place of God, which had been dedicated, consecrated and blessed for holy use of the Mass. Remember that Moses was asked to remove his sandals when he came to see the burning bush in the mountain of God? That is because the sandals represent all the vile and unworthy things of the world, which ought not to be present in the holy presence of God.

And therefore, similarly, when we come to the church, we should come with only a single intent, that is to be with our Lord, and to be fully present there, with all of our heart, soul and body completely present, ready to give thanks and praise to the Lord for His love, which we commemorate in the Holy Eucharist in the Mass. We should never even have the mind to do other things inappropriate for us to do when we are in the holy place and presence of God.

Therefore, it is absolutely saddening and disheartening if we see our own behaviours when we come for the Holy Mass, especially when those behaviour represent our disrespect to the Lord and His holiness, in His very temple no less! How many of us are guilty of talking and gossiping, as well as chatting things that are most of the time irrelevant to the celebration of the Holy Mass?

How many of us look to our gadgets and to our smartphones, to our mobile phones and others, instead of looking at the One whom we all should look towards, the Holy One who had given up Himself in death, so that we may not suffer the consequences of death, but gain life in His resurrection from the dead. How many of us therefore profaned His holiness and presence with our insolence and lack of respect for the Lord?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our actions as I have just mentioned cannot be separated from our own internal disposition. Why is this so? If we look carefully, at the second reading today, taken from letter of St. Paul to the Church in Corinth, he also mentioned that our body is also a holy temple, that is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This echoes the same words of Jesus, who also taught that our bodies are the Temples of the Holy Spirit, and therefore they should be pure and devoid of all forms of sins and iniquities.

What did Jesus do in the Gospel reading, brothers and sisters? Precisely, He drove out all of the merchants and the money changers who set up their stalls in front, at the courtyard of the Temple of Jerusalem, the House of God. The courtyard itself, even though it is not part of the main temple building, as a whole, still considered as an integral part of the Temple complex, and therefore, what the merchants and the money changers had done there, were abominable in God’s eyes.

What did the merchants do? They sold the animals to be sacrificed in the Temple to the people who wanted to offer those sacrifices, and they did so, by selling those animals at a high price, so that they gained much profits and benefits over the suffering of the people. The money changers did similarly, with charging the people for their money exchange services at exorbitant rates, gaining much more from those transactions.

What those people had done, had profaned the Temple of God, its holiness was marred by the wickedness of men. And our Lord who is a just God certainly did not take a kind look upon these wickedness, and that was why, Jesus our Lord literally went berserk in His wrath, because of the great evil committed by these in His holy Temple. He drove them out with whips and shouts, casting them out of His house and cursed them.

How is this relevant to us? Our bodies are the Temples of the Holy Spirit, the place where our Lord Himself came to dwell in us, and we know this because we who are faithful to Him, He will sanctify us and make us pure and justified. But if we do things as what the merchants and the money changers had done, then we are all going to receive great punishment and condemnation for our fornication and corruption of the holiness of the Temple of our body with sin.

How is this so? If we act in ways such as to serve our own desires, acting selfishly, thinking only of ourselves, just as the merchants and the money changers overcharging the people to gain profits for themselves, or if we act in disrespect of others, disregarding the teachings and reminders of the Lord, just as we had often disrespected the holiness of the sacred space in the church, the holy place of God, then our due is to be condemned and to suffer for those sins we have committed.

Therefore, today, as we celebrate with the entire universal Church, the feast of the dedication of the great Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Mother Church of all Christendom, the seat of authority and the site of the Cathedra of the Successors of St. Peter, let us be reminded of two very important things, that we must not leave today without.

First, we have to make sure that we respect the holy places and act appropriately in the places of divine worship. We have to truly be focused in the celebration of the Holy Mass, that we should dispose of any distractions or any attitudes incompatible with maintaining holiness in such solemn space, consecrated and dedicated to God. Let us remember that first and foremost, we have to come to celebrate the Holy Mass regularly, and when we do so, we have to be truly committed.

Then secondly, and even more important for us, is that we have to realise that all of us are also Temples of the Lord, Temple of the Holy Spirit. We have to keep this in mind, every single seconds of our lives. This is so that before we do every single act, or emit every single word from our mouth, we may think it through twice, or even more than twice, so that we can consider well before we act or say anything, that we may avoid ourselves from committing a sin before God.

May Almighty God, our Lord and Father, bless us all with faith and perseverance, that amidst this sinful and darkened world, we may become sources of light for the world to see, that all of us, the Temples of the Lord, may be consecrated in holiness, just as the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Mother Church of our Faith has been consecrated in holiness and love by the Lord, to be the anchor upon which the Church keeps its faith strongly, that all of us may also remain forever faithful, and keep the sanctity and holiness of the Temple of God that is our bodies, our hearts and our souls. God be with us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/08/sunday-9-november-2014-32nd-sunday-of-ordinary-time-feast-of-the-dedication-of-the-lateran-basilica-archbasilica-of-the-most-holy-saviour-and-saints-john-the-baptist-and-the-evangelist-at-the-lat/

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/08/sunday-9-november-2014-32nd-sunday-of-ordinary-time-feast-of-the-dedication-of-the-lateran-basilica-archbasilica-of-the-most-holy-saviour-and-saints-john-the-baptist-and-the-evangelist-at-the-lat-2/

Second Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/08/sunday-9-november-2014-32nd-sunday-of-ordinary-time-feast-of-the-dedication-of-the-lateran-basilica-archbasilica-of-the-most-holy-saviour-and-saints-john-the-baptist-and-the-evangelist-at-the-lat-3/

Gospel Reading :

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(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of the Archbasilica of our Saviour, Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Theodore, Martyr (II Classis) – Sunday, 9 November 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate with the entire Universal Church, the feast of the dedication of the greatest church in Christendom, the very heart of our Faith, the very seat of the Successor of St. Peter in this world, that is the Basilica of St. John Lateran, also known by its official name of the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran.

The Basilica of St. John Lateran is where the Bishops of Rome, the Popes have their Cathedra at. Cathedra is the seat of the bishop, the seat of authority and his throne, representing the teaching authority which had been handed down to him by his predecessors, in an unbroken chain of Apostolic succession. And for the Pope, as the Bishop of Rome, this succession originated from none other than St. Peter the Apostle, the Prince of Apostles, leader of the Universal Church and the Vicar of Christ.

Therefore today we celebrate both the authority of the Popes as the successors of St. Peter the Apostle, and more particularly, their seat of authority as the Bishop of Rome, the Cathedral of the Popes, the Cathedral of Rome itself, that is the Archbasilica of our Saviour, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is rightly often called, the Mother Church of the entire Christendom, because it is exactly the pivot and the centre, around which the entire Universal Church spins.

Today is the commemoration of the very date this Basilica was dedicated and consecrated to the Lord, a very important event which marked the moment when the building of the church was made holy and sacrosanct, blessed and dedicated to the Lord, to be a place of holy worship, worthy of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

And in the Epistle today, we heard on how the Lord is willing to come down from heaven to dwell with us, and this He had done, through His Son Jesus Christ, the One who saved us all through His suffering and death on the cross. He is the tabernacle of God who came down from heaven, to dwell among us forever. What is a tabernacle? Surely we are all aware that the tabernacle is the holiest place in the Church, where the very Holy and Real Presence of God in the Eucharist is housed.

Therefore, Jesus Christ who came into the world, both the Son of Man and Son of God, both fully human and fully divine, is the Word of God made flesh, who took up the humanity and the flesh of mankind to manifest the perfect love of God in this world. Through Him, God has dwelled among men forever, and this He kept true, even until now and beyond, because He has given us His own Body and Blood through the Eucharist, and for us who receive them worthily, the Lord dwells in us, and we dwell in Him.

We have to realise therefore, today, as we celebrate this feast of the dedication of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, we should realise also that just as the holiness and sanctity of that sacred place was created by its dedication and there is a need to maintain that holiness, then we too must realise that as I have mentioned, that because the Lord has dwelled among us, we are also the tabernacles of God, that is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

We are all therefore also meant to be the Temples of God. As such, we have to maintain the purity and holiness of our lives, of our bodies and hearts, or else, the corruption of sin would come to pollute the purity of the Temple of our body and heart. If we allow this fornication and corruption to affect this holy Temple, then our lot will be condemnation and destruction by the Lord, who will destroy us for our sinfulness.

How do then we do this, brothers and sisters in Christ? That means all of us should avoid any kinds of actions and attitudes that cause sin to develop and corrupt our hearts. We should keep ourselves clean and pure, by doing what is good in the sight of God, and abandoning all forms of fornications and evils from everything we do, and from everything we say.

Our Lord loves us, brothers and sisters in Christ, and He actively seeks all those who have sinned and have fallen into the darkness, like that of a shepherd looking for his lost sheep. The Gospel today clearly showed this to us, as Jesus showed His love and mercy for Zachaeus, the rich merchant and tax collector, who was seen by the Pharisees as a great sinner for his actions.

Yet it was his sincere desire and effort to seek the Lord, even to climb up a tall tree just so that he could see Him, that brought him into salvation. Jesus also praised him for his faith, and for his commitment to doing what is good and righteous, even to the point of declaring his love for the Lord publicly, and vowed to give to the poor, his love and care.

Therefore, the example of Zachaeus in the Gospel today can be an inspiration for us all, that it is never too late for us to begin a new life in Christ. Although we may have sinned greatly in the past, but with the help of the Lord and sincere effort from our side, we can attain a new holy, pure and committed life to God, and therefore create for ourselves, the holy Temple of God, that is our body, heart and soul.

Today we also celebrate the memory and feast of St. Theodore, a holy martyr of the faith, who was once a soldier in the Roman Army, at the time of the late Roman Empire. He was one of the faithful, and in the still pagan Roman Empire, and especially in the Roman Army, that was a difficult thing to do. He remained true to his faith, and when the Emperor at the time, who was very staunchly pagan and anti-Christian, ordered all those in the army to give idol offering to the pagan gods, St. Theodore refused to do so.

St. Theodore therefore was martyred for his faith, in the zealous and unbending devotion to God, like a true soldier of the Lord indeed. He was therefore the patron saints of warriors and crusaders, the holy warriors fighting in the Name of the Lord. Many who seek help against the forces of evil and darkness pray for the intercession of St. Theodore, the holy and brave martyr of God.

Therefore, on this holy and joyous occasion, let us all ask for the intercession of St. Theodore the martyr, and also all the saints of God, and most especially the Blessed Mother of our God, our Blessed Virgin Mary, to pray for us and intercede for our sake, that we may be strengthened against the forces of evil trying to corrupt us, our bodies, our minds, our hearts and souls, which are the Temples of the Lord’s Holy Presence.

Let us all always be mindful of our words, actions and deeds, that we think twice, thrice and even more, before we even think of committing any sin or any acts deplorable to God. Let us all follow the example of Zachaeus, to declare our love for the Lord and devote ourselves completely and entirely to Him without fear, and give the best of our effort to follow the Lord and walk in His ways.

May Almighty God guide us in this battle of life, so that just as He had sanctified the Basilica of St. John Lateran as the Mother Church of all of His Church and the whole of Christendom, He may also sanctify us as the Temples of His Presence within us, through the Most Holy Eucharist which we receive into ourselves. May God bless us for our faith, and keep us in His love always, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Epistle :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/07/usus-antiquior-dedication-of-the-archbasilica-of-our-saviour-twenty-second-sunday-after-pentecost-feast-of-st-theodore-martyr-ii-classis-sunday-9-november-2014-epistle/

Gospel :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/07/usus-antiquior-dedication-of-the-archbasilica-of-our-saviour-twenty-second-sunday-after-pentecost-feast-of-st-theodore-martyr-ii-classis-sunday-9-november-2014-holy-gospel/

Sunday, 9 November 2014 : 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 2 : 13-22

At that time, 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 and of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” 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.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/08/sunday-9-november-2014-32nd-sunday-of-ordinary-time-feast-of-the-dedication-of-the-lateran-basilica-archbasilica-of-the-most-holy-saviour-and-saints-john-the-baptist-and-the-evangelist-at-the-lat-5/