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Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

By Fr. John Celichowski, OFM Cap.

In the 18th century, more than 1400 years after the Lateran Basilica was first dedicated, Pope Clement XII had an inscription placed over the entrance. It was, of course, in Latin; and it proclaimed this massive cathedral the “mother and head of all churches of Rome and the world.”

Now under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, the Lateran Basilica continues to serve in that role. As the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, it is a place that every Catholic from anywhere in the world can call home.

We all need places to call home. One of the timeless tasks of any disciple of Jesus is to make and be a church that more and more people can call home. At the same time, the Lord also asks us to make a home for him in our hearts.

Like the temple of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day, our hearts can become corrupted by preoccupations with worldly concerns. The things that impede our mission and communion with God and others need to be driven out. We pray for God’s mercy and the grace we need so that, like the temple in Ezekiel’s vision, the waters of the Spirit can flow through us and into our world.

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