November 9 is the celebration of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica. Why is this important?
St. John Lateran Basilica was built in the time of Constantine and dedicated by Pope Sylvester in 324 AD. Its official name is Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran. Essentially this church is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome who is the Pope. St. John Lateran served as the Papal home for the succession of Popes in the early years of the Church. St. John Lateran (as it is now commonly called) is one of the first four Basilicas and the oldest in the West. From this stems its primacy. Within this church, Baptisms were performed and the growth of the church evolved. As the church grew, we continued to understand how we remain connected through Baptism. St. John Lateran is our church and the Church invites us to make this connection as we celebrate this feast day.
As we join in celebrating this special church, we might listen to our readings and contemplate Jesus throwing the vendors and money-changers out of the temple? Why was he upset? Jesus indicates that they are making the temple a marketplace rather than a temple. A temple is a place where people come to encounter God, talk about this God and experience reverence and prayer. Was their selling at all about God? Was the conversation, the purpose, or the presence remotely connected to God? Jesus was calling them back to the purpose of the temple and their relationship with God.
In such light, we are invited to contemplate our activities as we gather in our temple. Our church is a place of reverence and prayer. Do we pause to genuflect before the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle or bow before the altar where Jesus will be made present? Is our conversation as we gather for prayer centered on God, our welcoming of each other into the presence of God or are we talking about the “marketplace”? Does the noise of our church interfere with those who come to contemplate God in prayer and ready their hearts for celebrating the Eucharist? Do we join in the pre-service music which invites us to become focused on the God who we will celebrate in the Mass? How would Jesus respond to our activity? Would he welcome our behavior or drive us out of the temple?
Sharing news about the parish . . .
Diocesan Annual Appeal – our goal is $99,193. Progress is $24,952 cash received. Every member is needed to offer a contribution on the road to meeting our goal. Having received your pledge card, please prayerfully consider what you are willing to support, fill out your pledge card and return it. If we can meet our goal by April 1, our rebate will be increased; these monies help us to do extra maintenance projects within the parish. Thank you in advance for your willingness to support this important work!
The pilgrims have returned from their journey! Many wonderful experiences unfolded in the countries of Portugal, Spain, and France. Hope to share more of the story in the near future!
On November 16 St. Anne Parish will celebrate its 65th Anniversary as a parish. To celebrate this event, parish members are invited to stop after Masses during that weekend to enjoy refreshments and share stories about St. Anne Parish. Plan to join in the festivities as we give thanks to God for 65 years of growing in faith!
May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!