Emperor Constantine’s dowry in his second marriage brought him the Lateran hill, which is one of the seven hills of Rome. A major structure on the Lateran Hill was its basilica. The building’s name comes from the Greek word for a king, basilous; and the basilica served as an audience halls for kings. Typically, a basilica would be a rectangular building with a half-circle alcove on one end where the king’s throne was erected. That same shape is carried over in our modern Catholic basilicas where the altar is lodged in the half circle.
In 320 Constantine gave the Lateran Basilica to Pope St. Sylvester I. To this day the Basilica of St. John Lateran is known as the pope’s own church.
The first reading uses a clear stream flowing out of the east face of the temple as a symbol for the grace-inspired beautiful deeds which those attending Mass go out to perform.
The Gospel sees us as temples of God. We must be temples given over to prayer, rather than letting our souls be polluted with cheap thoughts (particularly at Mass time.)