Sunday Vigil

Share On

Feast of the Dedication of the Cathedral of Rome, the Basilica of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in the Lateran. Prayer for the Church of Rome. Memorial of the "Crystal Night," the beginning of the Nazi persecution of the Jews.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 2,13-22

When the time of the Jewish Passover was near Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting there. Making a whip out of cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, sheep and cattle as well, scattered the money changers' coins, knocked their tables over and said to the dove sellers, 'Take all this out of here and stop using my Father's house as a market.' Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: I am eaten up with zeal for your house. The Jews intervened and said, 'What sign can you show us that you should act like this?' Jesus answered, 'Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple: are you going to raise it up again in three days?' But he was speaking of the Temple 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 what he had said.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church celebrates the celebration of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in Lateran, Rome, also called the "mother" of all the Churches in the world. It is a feast that brings us back to the origins of the Church and reminds us of the value and meaning of every sacred place, place of prayer and of meeting with the Lord. In the liturgy the churches are "dedicated" to the Lord, that is, they are places that we do not dedicate to ourselves or to our being at the centre, and for this reason they remain places of freedom and humanity in the world. Jesus had very clear that the temple of Jerusalem was dedicated to the Father, to God, and not to human commerce; this is why he wanted to protect that space and he did it with strength and determination, so much so that the disciples recognized in his gesture to drive away the vendors and the money-changers, the words of the Psalm: "Zeal for your house will devour me" (Ps 69:10).
This celebration actually reminds us that the Lord has made of and our life, a temple that must not be profaned with the logic of the market, of buying and selling. The only logic that can live in the house of God is that of gratuitous love that dedicates its life not to save itself but others. "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" says Jesus: it is the temple of his body that rises not with the strength of money, but with that of love. With these words Jesus consecrates every body, no matter how weak and fragile, to be a temple of God: when it is inhabited by love nothing can destroy it.