The second reading read at Mass at tomorrow’s feast of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica comes from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
You are God’s building. By the grace God gave me, I succeeded as an architect and laid the foundations, on which someone else is doing the building. Everyone doing the building must work carefully. For the foundation, nobody can lay any other than the one which has already been laid, that is Jesus Christ.
Didn’t you realise that you were God’s temple and that the Spirit of God was living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:9-11,16-17
The ‘you’ is plural. We are God’s building. Becoming this is first of all is God’s gift. But it also needs to be our work, our work together. We can build, and we can destroy.
Success in this enterprise is achieved by attentiveness to the ‘plan’ of the building, established by Christ.
We have work to do but the shape of the work is established by the Lord. Our work begins with discerning his will.
The nave of St John Lateran is populated by great statues of the apostles, the foundation on which the Church, and not only this particular church, is built.
And note that, despite the prominent collection box above, the Lateran is maybe the most welcoming of Rome’s basilicas!
Photographs (c) 2014, Allen Morris.