The Gospel reading from the Mass for the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica is John 2:13-22.

Following the launch of His public ministry at the Wedding of Cana, Christ travels by foot (100 miles) for the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. As He enters the Temple, Christ finds the Temple being corrupted as foretold 500 years earlier (Mal 3:1-2). Of note: scholars conclude that this is the first of two times that Christ cleanses the Temple; He returns three years later to cleanse the Temple a final time during Passion Week (Matt 21:12-13).

It was “big business” to provide animals for sacrifice and exchange foreign currency for 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, Christ, whip in hand, forcefully drives out the merchants and animals from the large outer court area (35 acres/26 football fields). When His authority is challenged, Christ cryptically prophesizes of His own Passion and Resurrection, mysteriously revealing that 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 Peter.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ defends His Father’s house.  Son of Man, Christ courageously clears out a large hostile crowd of “robbers” from the acres-large outer Temple area; His physical presence and righteous anger was powerfully intimidating. Divine Prophet, Christ mysteriously confirms His coming Passion and Resurrection.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) The outer Temple area was very large (35 acres) and filled with cut-throat merchants (robbers) who had much to lose. Marvel at Christ’s intimidating persona and physical presence and His fierce defense of the Holiness of God in the Temple (CCC 583-586).

2) Sadly, in many parishes today, there is a Sacrilegious (CCC 2118, 2120, 2139) lack of awe and honor for Christ, who resides in the Tabernacle; casual or immodest dress, chatter before, during and after mass, irreverent music, casual reception of the Eucharist, etc. Renew your understanding of the need for Deep Reverence of the Eucharist (CCC 1384-1390,1415,1418, 2628) and pray for Christ to help you and all men have the zeal to show respect for and defend the honor of Christ’s Real Presence.

3) The Feast of St. John Lateran in Rome is a powerful symbol that reminds all Catholic men of the need for absolute allegiance to the See of Peter, the pope and the Roman Church. Refresh your understanding of the importance of the Pope and the Church of Rome (CCC 194, 880-882, 834, 891, 934-937) and pray for Christ to help you always remain absolutely faithful and obedient to His Roman Church.