Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
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: 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.
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. 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 (46): 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.
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.
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.
The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Come, consider the works of the Lord, the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
Gospel Acclamation: 2Ch7:16
Alleluia, alleluia! I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord, for my name to be there forever. Alleluia!
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: 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.
The Temple – where the Ark of the Covenant was located – is God’s dwelling place among his people (1Kg 8:10). It is the very heart of the Jewish faith and the centre of the history of the people of Israel. How can merchants of oxen, sheep, doves, and money changers meet there and even settle there? This is blasphemy; desecration! Their mere presence and activities in the Temple testify to their lack of faith. Yes, they lack the basic “fear of God” which is fundamental in the life of every man (cf. Pr 1:7; 9:10). Dear friends, in order to avoid attracting the wrath of God, we must always pay attention to our words and actions in and around the Church. Beware of stealing, lying, invective, slander, misuse of the telephone, etc. especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament. May God always give us the spirit of discernment, the clear vision of what we should do and the strength to accomplish it.