Today we celebrate the dedication of Christianity’s oldest church, the Lateran Basilica. I dates back to when Emperor Constantine became a Christian in 315 when he donated a famous building to the church.
As a dowry for his marriage to him, his wife had given Constantine the Lateran Hill, one of Rome’s seven famous hills. It was topped by a building constructed as a residence for visiting monarchs. It was called a basilica, after basilous, the Greek word for a king.
Our word “church,” is also of Greek origin; coming from kyrios oikia, said over and over rapidly so that the “k” sounds become “ch” sounds.
In honoring the Lateran Basilica we are really thanking God for all of the churches where he deems to abide with us.
The water flowing down from the east of the temple in the first reading represents all the people who go out from church with God’s grace in their hearts. The benefits they bring to people are pictured as trees blooming year round, and as brackish water freshened with love.
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