Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

November 9, 2014


I have always struggled with this feast. It seems strange to have a day, let alone a Sunday dedicated to a building. Granted I know all too well, buildings are important, but what does a building have its own feast day?

As I was lamenting this point with my confreres, I was instructed to read Basilian Fr. Owen Lee’s comments on the Basilica of St. John Lateran – and it warmed my heart. So I want to share with you a bit of his own his thoughts and words paraphrased with my own.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Basilica, it could probably best be described as the loveliest and ugliest churches in Rome. It is under constant repair and is exactly what it looks to be: one renovation on top of another. It has been partially destroyed countless times but it has always survived just enough to rise again.

And we celebrate it: because, perhaps more than any other building on earth, it IS OUR CHURCH. It reflects US. John Lateran’s stones, both hideous and glorious have stood the test of time just as humanity with all of its virtues and vices, our potential for good and evil, has survived and continues to flourish.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Psalm 46; I Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22).


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