The ancient roots of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church is recalled and honored with the Feast of the Dedication of the St. John Lateran Basilica on November 9. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can revere Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and by growing in the Virtue of Obedience so he can be completely obedient to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. 

Commentary

Following the Wedding of Cana, Jesus travels to attend the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. As He enters the Temple, Jesus finds the Temple being corrupted as foretold 500 years earlier (Mal 3:1-2). Of note: scholars conclude this is the first of two times Jesus cleanses the Temple; He returns three years later to cleanse the Temple a final time during Passion Week (Mt 21:12-13).

It was “big business” to provide animals for sacrifice and exchange foreign currency to pay the Temple tax; the priests and many men profited from the lucrative business, even allowing the sacrilege of buying and selling inside the Temple in the outer court. Moved by righteous indignation and zeal, Jesus, whip in hand, forcefully drives out the merchants and animals from the large outer court area (35 acres/26 football fields), scattering coins as He turns over the money tables. When His authority is challenged, Jesus cryptically prophesizes of His own Passion and Resurrection, mysteriously revealing after three days He would rise again and His own Body and Blood will be the “new temple.”

The Basilica of St. John Lateran was the first and oldest Catholic church, consecrated in 324 a.d. in Rome, after Catholicism was decriminalized by Constantine. The Basilica was named in honor of John the Baptist, for it is where Catholics were baptized in Rome; “Lateran” refers to the ancient family who owned the site; five Church councils were held there. St. John Lateran is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome. The Feast celebrates the “mother church” of all Catholic churches around the world and is a sign of respect, obedience and honor for the See of St. Peter. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be astounded by how Jesus violently clears the large Temple area (CCC 583-586): Son of the Father and Protector, Jesus driven by Divine Justice (Vindication) to purge unholy sacrilege from His Father’s house ; Jesus uses just Anger, Charisma and imposing physical Strength, to take Aggressive/Harsh action to Frighten and clear out hundreds of cut-throat merchants and their animals.

Offer Christ your highest reverence in the Mass

Realize: Sadly, in many parishes today, there is a Sacrilegious (CCC 2118, 2120, 2139) lack of awe and honor for Jesus in the Mass, because many do not understand or believe that Jesus is actually present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: casual or immodest dress, chatter before, during and after Mass, irreverent music, casual or even damning reception of the Eucharist (1 Cor 11:27); every Catholic man should always approach the Eucharist with the same awe he will surely have when he faces Christ in his own Judgment.

Believe: Reflect upon the need for the Highest Reverence of the Eucharist (CCC 1384-1390, 1415, 1418, 2628).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so You fill me with awareness that I am in the actual presence of Christ and receive His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Be completely obedient to the Holy Catholic Church

Realize: The Feast of St. John Lateran in Rome is a powerful symbol that reminds every Catholic man of the need for absolute allegiance to the See of Peter, the pope and Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. 

Believe: Reflect upon the importance of the Pope and the Church of Rome (CCC 194, 552-553. 880-882, 834, 891, 934-937).

Pray: St. Peter, Glorious Apostle and Greatest Pope, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I always remain absolutely faithful and obedient to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.