Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: John 2:13-22 - Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Today we celebrate feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. This impressive basilica is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, not St. Peter’s. And it is this basilica that was the home to popes throughout the early years of the church.
Today’s Gospel reading is the story of the purification of the temple. At first glance, this reading sounds like it is simply about people using the temple for their own monetary gains. However, we don’t do this Gospel reading justice if we think that is the only message we’re supposed to walk away with. I don’t think this is God telling us to stop having bake sales in the parish hall after Mass.
I do think, however, that it is a way to remind us of just why churches exist and exactly “who” the temple is in this story. First of all, we come to church to worship God. Perhaps I’m not outright selling goods in the middle of Mass, but is my attention focused on worshipping God or have I let it drift elsewhere?
Second, Jesus is trying to tell those who will listen that He is the new temple. When He tells them that he will rebuild the temple in three days if they tear it down, He is referring to His own resurrection three days after His death. He has replaced the old temple and sacrificial offerings with something new.
The next time you are in church, think about why you are there. Have you come to worship the God who has replaced the old temple and made all things new?
There is often much to distract us in church. How can I gently call my attention back to worship when my mind starts to wander?
Lord, when I am in Your presence, help me to be present. Let my attention be on You.
Copyright 2020 Amy J. Cattapan
About the Author
A.J. Cattapan, DM, Ed.D., is an award-winning author, speaker, and teacher. Her YA novel Angelhood and her middle grade book Seven Riddles to Nowhere have won multiple awards, and her book on combating teacher burnout releases in 2021 from Ave Maria Press. She is also the host of BOOK.eD, a Catholic book review program on Shalom World TV. Follow her at AJCattapan.com.