The Church is sacred despite…

We are reminded of this character of the Church on the day of the Dedication of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome on November 9. This basilica is honored as the episcopal seat of the Pope as Bishop of Rome. It is the “mother and head of all the churches of Rome and the world”.

In the gospel reading for this feast, we are told how Christ drove out those who turned the temple area of ​​Jerusalem into a marketplace. (cf. Jn 2,13-22) “Take them away from here, and stop making my Father’s house a market place”, he says.

The gospel obviously tells us that the church is a sacred place. As Christ said, it is his Father’s house, God’s house. This is where we are meant to have our final home for all eternity, united with God and all the saints. Of course, while here on earth, the church can only come close to this ideal, but we must treat it as best we can as a sacred place.

The gospel also highlights the truth that there is such a thing as righteous anger, as shown by Christ himself in this episode. Anger is a human emotion that has a rightful place in our nature. But let us learn to manage it well, because if it is not inspired by faith, hope and charity, this emotion can only be harmful to us.

We just have to beware of our anger because, as Saint James had already warned us in his letter, “the anger of man does not accomplish the justice of God”. (1.20) We always tend to exaggerate, and our anger can already go beyond charity and righteousness.

Let us never forget that we have a wounded condition here in our earth life. We can appear strong and clearly endowed with powerful talents and resources, but all of these good things can also blind and intoxicate us and can plunge us into very subtle forms of pride, vanity, arrogance and self-righteousness.

We may feel that we have all truth and fairness on our side, but still all that can still stand apart from charity. And let us remember that charity is the fullness of knowledge, of truth, of justice. Where there is no charity, the charity of God, all other virtues can only be apparent at best. They may look and feel like virtues, but in reality they are not.

But despite all our weaknesses, we must also realize that the Church is really for everyone, saints and sinners. He is meant to help everyone in the way they need to be helped. We still have this need. And the Church has everything we need to reach our end goal despite the varying conditions of our life here on earth.

Let us remember that the fullness of our quality of life is when we are truly with God who can help us deal with whatever situation or condition we may find ourselves in in this lifetime. Let’s go beyond the idea that the quality of our life simply depends on how lucky we are to be rich, intelligent, talented, powerful, etc.

We may be poor, not gifted, or lucky enough to be smart, talented, or powerful, but if we are with God, we actually have the best quality of life!*

Martha J. Finley