November 9

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (c.324)

The Lateran Basilica was built by the Emperor Constantine on the Lateran Hill in Rome in about 324. In honour of the basilica, “the mother and head of all the churches of the City and the World,” the feast has been extended to the whole Roman Rite as a sign of unity and love towards the See of Peter.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Rev 21: 2

I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Collect

O God, who from living and chosen stones, prepare an eternal dwelling for your majesty, increase in your Church, the spirit of grace you have bestowed, so that by new growth, your faithful people may build up the heavenly Jerusalem. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading: Ezekiel 47:1-2.8-9.12

The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. The man went to the east holding his measuring-line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’

Psalm 45:2-3.5-6.8-9

R/ The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

  1. God is for us a refuge and strength, a helper close at hand, in time of distress: so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,  though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea.
  1. The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within, it cannot be shaken; God will help it at the dawning of the day.
  1. The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our strong hold. Come, consider the works of the Lord, the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.

Second Reading : 1 Cor 3:9-11.16-17

You are God’s building. By the grace God gave me, I succeeded as an architect and laid the foundations, on which someone else is doing the building. Everyone doing the building must work carefully. For the foundation, nobody can lay any other than the one which has already been laid, that is Jesus Christ. Didn’t you realise that you were God’s temple and that the Spirit of God was living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.

Gospel Acclamation : 2Ch 7:16

Alleluia, alleluia! I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, for my name to be there

Gospel John 2:13-22

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the words he had said.

Prayer over the Offerings

Accept, we pray, O Lord, the offering made here and grant that by it those who seek your favour may receive in this place the power of the Sacraments and the answer to their prayers. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Cf. 1 Pet 2: 5

Be built up like living stones, into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.

Prayer after Communion

O God, who chose to foreshadow for us the heavenly Jerusalem through the sign of your Church on earth, grant, we pray, that, by our partaking of this Sacrament, we may be made the temple of your grace and may enter the dwelling place of your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

Reflection

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. This basilica was built by Emperor Constantine on the Lateran Hill in the City of Rome. According to a tradition that dates from the 12th Century, the dedication of the basilica is supposed to have taken place on the 9th of November. The celebration of the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica challenges us in two basic and straightforward ways: first, the solid nature of the basilica challenges us to a firm faith that shows itself in a life of integrity; secondly, the cleanliness, awe and purity of the basilica challenge us to the fact that our own bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and as such should be respected and kept clean and pure.