Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica,
On this misty day In the Yorkshire dales the Church takes us to Rome and to one of the four major basilicas in Rome. St John Lateran is in fact known as the Mother and Head of all the churches in the City and the World.
What does this feast day signify to us? How does celebrating the dedication of a church help us on our pilgrim journey through life and towards heaven?
Catholics have a natural affection for the church were they were baptised in, brought up and worshipped in. We love our church buildings. Indeed sometimes people have more love for the bricks and mortar of their church than for the faith itself. Paradoxically , when we celebrate a dedication of a building the readings and prayers of the Mass remind us that the Church isn't bricks and mortar but living stones people in other words.
"God's temple is holy , and that temple you are"
So, when we celebrate the dedication of John Lateran we are reminded of the importance of the visible nature of the Church and of our unity with the Catholic Faith throughout the world. We are also reminded of the fact that we are the Church, the people of God. St Caesarius puts it this way:
" Let your souls (my soul) be as spotless and shining as you want this church to be when you come to it.