32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Not Just a “church”

When it seems that we can’t move the liturgy around and always give priority to Christ and the Resurrection on Sundays; why are we celebrating what seems at best to be a blessing or a sacramental?

First of all, for those who don’t know this already – this feast celebrates the dedication of the pope’s Cathedral Church in Rome and in this day and age in our faith, a lot more needs to be reflected upon of what our connection to the Bishop of Rome, the Chief Shepherd appointed by Jesus with the Cardinals as His instruments and the Holy Spirit guiding and empowering. He, like us is human – His Office is Divine!  The Catholic Church entrusted to people, even though sincere followers and disciples may have our imperfections, but the Holy Father, Supreme Pontiff, Chief Shepherd and Successor of St. Peter is who unites us.  But not just in a functional way, in a real and pastoral way.  He is not on a pedestal, but is pastor of a community!  Just as your pastor is, just as Cardinal Collins is of all of us here in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

We celebrate this feast as it’s symbolic of our own communities and how we are united to each other as a community of faith. Parish Churches just don’t happen.  They are built upon faith, with love; they are built because people love God and want a place to worship Him.  We are not about bricks and mortar, we are about Jesus Christ and we are about each other.  As we celebrate this wonderful feast today; think of those around you in your parish.  If you don’t know them or some of them – get to know them.  There was a lot of love for God and for the people in the pope’s parish that brought about the building of St. John Lateran – but there was that same love and dedication that brought about your local parish church too.  And your parish and you (all of us) are united to something greater than ourselves; we are united to a community of believers who are united to the Lord our God.  May God bless you.

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