The Lateran Basilica is the cathedral of Rome. Pope Clemens XII dedicated the Basilica to Christ, in honour of Saints John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist and today is known as St John Lateran cathedral. The feast became a universal celebration in honour of our Lord and it is a sign of love for and union with the Vicar of Christ on earth. The Laterani's family was the owner of the site and two members of the family were consults, Sextius and Plautius. In the time of Nero, Plautinus was accused of conspiracy against the emperor, and his goods were confiscated and the palace became Emperor Constantine's and was given to the Church. It was the oldest Cathedral and the birthplace of the Nicene Creed. The building had gone through several disasters such as Vandals, fires and earthquake. After every fall the Lateran rose again, continuing to proclaim to the word of God.
It is not just brick and mortar but God who makes the church alive through his people. By acting on God's words and nourishing ourselves with the Body and Blood of Christ we make it alive and that life flows through the Church. God makes the Church alive through us. We are the community of faith to give praise to God and to show God's love for the world. It is our duty to take care of the holy places and make them alive and care for the community of faith because these are the signs that reflect the internal temple- our faith journey. Every time we commit sin we inflict harm to our spiritual and physical body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need regularly to take care of ourselves by means of prayers and penance and fasting as ways to rejuvenate the Holy Spirit.
Jesus during his life on earth several times visited the temple and complained that people have turned the house of prayer to be a marketplace. Deep in our hearts we know that a temple is a sacred place and when in it we should keep quiet and be reverent and respectful because a temple is the house of prayer. Our behaviour at a holy place often carries away by the crowds. People talk in Church I join them and I presume that it is ok. We need to remind ourselves that following the majority is not always right and correct thing to do and it could unconsciously tarnish the holy place we are in.
Jesus refers to the temple in Jerusalem as "my Father's house." It is God's house on earth where God dwells and it can only be recognized by faith. Jesus established the Church on earth and Christ as our head and we are parts of that body. When one part of the body gets hurt as a result the whole body suffers. We are temples of the Holy Spirit because God lives in us and we live in God. We are united with God through his word, through the sacraments and through the Body and Blood of Christ. Today's celebration is not about a place but it is about us.