Daily Reflection
November 9th, 2005

Brigid Quinn Laquer

Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
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Feast of Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17
John 2:13-22

St John Lateran is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides. In a sense, it is the parish church of all Catholics, for it is the pope's parish. Humans build with stone and timber and the Church of St. John Lateran is a very impressive example. But today I would like to reflect on God’s “building” which is on a much more fundamental level. And in my opinion, far surpasses the beauty, dignity and splendor of any human structure. From the fine tuned orchestration of the replication of DNA to the vastness of the galaxies, God has created life. God’s Spirit is the source of that life and of its unity.

We humans have a special place; we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Pet 2:9). The catechism tells us that “‘All humans are called to belong to the new People of God’ (Lumen gentium 13) so that, in Christ, they ‘may form one family and one People of God’ (Ad gentes 1). The Spirit establishes the community of believers as The Body of Christ. In the unity of this Body, there is a diversity of members and functions, yet all members are linked to one another. The body's unity is actually dependent on the diversity of its members. It cannot manage efficiently without each individual part being healthy and functional.

The Spirit is the soul of the Mystical Body, the source of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the richness of its gifts and charisms. The unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: ‘For there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal 3:27-28)” (CCC 787-810).

Our readings today talk of “the temple of God,” “the city of God” and “the holy dwelling of the Most High”. In today’s second reading, Paul tells the Corinthians, and us, “You are God’s building.” We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. “God is in [our] midst” flowing like water, giving all creatures life, food and medicine (Ps 46). Christ is our foundation, the solid ground that gives us support and heals our human failings, divisions and weaknesses. The scriptures sculpt and shape us. “Nevertheless, we do not make a house for the Lord until we are fitted together through love" (St. Augustine, Sermon 36).

Paul says we are holy. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort or achievement. It is entirely God’s creation and gift. Only God can create divine life in human beings, and God wills to do so, for all of us. We are a growing dynamic community of saints, those in heaven as well as the unfinished saints who still live on earth. We are the dwelling place of God, individually as a temple of God, communally as a city of God. We are each very different from one another, but if we remain united through the Law of Love we make present the kingdom of God on earth.

Dear God continue to fill us with the grace of your Holy Spirit and give us the trust to create a world of saints, so that we may be builders of a better world where all your children will live in justice, peace and harmony. Amen.

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