This year the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica is celebrated on Sunday (November 8). This church in Rome is the Pope’s Cathedral in the Diocese of Rome. On the façade of the church is the inscription “mother and head of all churches of Rome and the world.” This feast emphasizes the universal nature of the Catholic Church.
The Scripture readings for this feast remind us that we use the word “Church” for both the building where believers gather to worship and for the community of believers itself. The prophet Ezekiel portrays a heavenly temple from which flow living waters to nurture trees that produce the nourishment of food and a healing medicine. St. Paul reminds us that we are God’s building, the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells in us.
Think about your experience of faith. How does the church building help you to have a sense of God’s healing and nourishing presence? When are you most aware of the Spirit’s presence in the church as God’s people?