Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12;Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9 1; Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22
The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
“Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:12)
Water flowing out from beneath a threshold is not usually a good sign. Either your house has flooded, or a pipe has burst. But what if that water were the river of life?
Today, we celebrate the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the pope’s basilica in Rome. At this church, the pope fulfills the pastoral role of bishop for all of the Catholics in Rome. It is from this basilica that he offers Mass and provides spiritual direction for his flock. It is also as bishop of Rome that he exercises his role as leader of all his brother bishops in the Church—his role as pope. So today’s celebration is a call to reflect on the local Church and the global Church that, as St. Ambrose says, is made beautiful in human hearts.
And what is that Church? It is all of us, not just its leaders. Together we form the living temple of God’s presence, and from all of us flows the river of life that Ezekiel describes in today’s first reading.
But what does the river actually look like? Take a minute and think about the massive difference that God has made in this world because of the Church—because of us. For more than twenty centuries, believers have poured themselves out to meet the physical and spiritual needs of their neighbors. From local parish groups to international organizations, they have fed the hungry, provided medical care to the sick, and offered comfort to the lonely. Through their prayer and celebration of the sacraments, they have brought millions of people to conversion. Nothing short of miracles have taken place because believers have reached out in the grace of God!
You are part of this Church. When you pray for a friend on the drive to work, the river is flowing. When you make even a small donation to the poor box, you are bringing life. When you offer forgiveness, you are bringing healing and peace. Your life matters! Your witness is vital!
So how will you let the river of life flow through you today?
“Lord, I want to bring spiritual food to the hungry and healing to the wounded. Let your river flow fast and strong from my heart.” ~WAU