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November 9, 2017 - Construction Crew

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Scripture Readings

Today we celebrate the dedication of the Church of St. John Lateran, so we have a treasure of temple readings. Buildings are symbols of community and institution. Buildings can be a physical reminder of the activities and mission of an organization. We sometimes forget that an empty building is meaningless. It only matters when it is used for its purpose. God’s word says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. What is your original purpose? What were you made for? 

In the first reading we have a hint. The temple, which is meaningless without the Jewish people and the God we worship, is sending out life giving water. It is the source of the desert blooming. In Baptism, we became a part of God’s beloved community.  The same spiritual water flows in our hearts.  Where does it come from?  In the second reading Paul points to Jesus as the foundation of the church. He knows that in ministry, one person lays the foundation successive people complete the building. Consider all the people that have helped build up the temple of faith that you are! God's grace has sent many good people into our lives to help us grow in the Spirit.  You are also sent by grace to be one of those builders.

Are you a conduit of Christ's compassion? Are you a pipe of God's peace? Are you standing on the foundation of faithfulness? We don't become these things by ourselves; the water comes from God and flows through us. How can you be more open to the Spirit given in the living waters of Baptism? 

Sometimes the process of building can start with some demolition.  Paul warns us that those who assault the Holy Temples of God will be destroyed.  Jesus literally cracks the whip and starts flipping tables.  There are dark parts of our hearts that need could use a little demolition at the beginning of the remodeling process.  Our church community, our nation, and our world also have these dark spots.  What is it for you?  What is it for us? Politics? Generosity?  Forgiveness?  Demo-work can be messy, but it’s worth it for the new room or building that’s under construction.  Jesus and His Church are working to build you more fully into the wonderful Temple you were meant to be.  Let us pray that we remember who we are, who has the master plan, and do our part to build one-another up in Christ.  Amen!

-Chris Nieport