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Saturday, November 9, 2002

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Dedication of St. John Lateran

(suggested readings)
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17
Psalm 46

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inspect your church's foundation

"Everyone, however, must be careful how he builds. No one can lay a foundation other than the one that has been laid, namely Jesus Christ." —1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Jesus began the Church with twelve apostles (see Mt 16:18). By the power of the Holy Spirit, these apostles and other disciples of Christ formed other small Christian communities (see Acts 2:42). These communities were united with the Lord and the other Christian communities through the bishops of their regions. After almost three hundred years of living in small communities and meeting in homes, the Church was called by the Holy Spirit to build a church building (i.e. St. John Lateran). Thus, a network of deep, developed small Christian communities is the historical and spiritual foundation and inspiration for the building of churches.

In the western part of the world, we have many great church buildings. Yet we have the breakdown of Christian community. Under these conditions, our beautiful church buildings can present problems, as is the case with any structure whose foundation is eroding. This does not mean that we should neglect or destroy our church buildings. But we had better repent, give our lives to Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit build Christian community among us. Our church buildings will manifest our downfall spiritually unless we have a new Pentecost of Christian community. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to make us one.

Promise:  "His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: 'Zeal for Your house consumes Me.' " —Jn 2:17

Praise:  St. John the Baptizer humbly recognized at the apex of his ministry that it was time for him to decrease (Jn 3:30) and Jesus to increase. He even sent two of his best disciples away to follow Jesus (Jn 1:36ff).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002