Gospel Reflection for the 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – November 9th 2014 – Feast of the Lateran Basilica
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
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.
This is a strange feast as it commemorates a church building, the basilica of St John Lateran which is the Pope’s cathedral. It is a focus of the unity of our church and gives a hint of the true meaning of a church building.
Pope Francis says speaking of the Temple: “…the place where the community comes to pray, to praise the Lord, to give thanks, but above all to worship: we worship the Lord in the Temple”. It is the place in the locality which may lift our mind and heart to God, and the place where we gather for the big moments of life, like birth, marriage and death. This refers to a church building also.
He speaks also of the other temples – of the spiritual temples where the holy spirit dwells in each of us. In both temples, he says, ‘our attitude should be that of piety, of loving and listening, praying and asking for forgiveness’.
The feast today reminds of the coming together to pray, and of the temple within each of us where we listen to God and to each other.
Donal Neary SJ