Who is the liar? Homily for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Who is the liar? Homily for Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Daily Homilies

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Readings for Today

There are some people who really, really hate religion.  It is not just that they disagree with this or that thing, but the very existence of religion makes their blood boil. And it is not just that they do not want any religion mentioned, they do not want anyone else to mention it either.  It is about destroying any public reference to religion. Religion is simply something that is meant to be private. Period.

In today’s first reading, Saint John refers to such people as liars.  Those who deny the existence of God are the ones who speak untruth. Often, if a simple statement is made to an atheist, namely, “Tell me about the God you do not believe in”, it often becomes clear that Christians do not believe in such a God either.

Homily for Sunday, November 9, 2014

Readings for Today

Every time this feast takes the place of a Sunday Mass I find myself wondering why the dedication of a basilica, which up until recently I had never visited, should be so important. Because when it falls on a Sunday, the Dedication of Saint John Lateran Basilica is celebrated.

I understand that this is the pope’s church, though many may think of Saint Peter’s Basilica as the pope’s church, since the earliest days that Christianity was legal in Rome, the Lateran Basilica has been the pope’s church. Named both for Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, it is usually just called Saint John Lateran.

So why the big deal? Primarily it is because this basilica reminds us that the Catholic Church is a worldwide, universal Church. When we celebrate the dedication of this church, we are recalling the long and deep history of our Church and all that it has endured.

In that sense, it serve’s as a reminder that while we celebrate Saint John Lateran, our faith is about so much more than a building, or even a lot of buildings. We are the Church because of the promise of Christ, and the action of the Holy Spirit. The gates of Hell are not enough to prevail against this Church because of the constant companionship of Christ.

This universal sense of the Church becomes very apparent in visiting Rome and the Vatican. The Vatican (and the surrounding churches and basilicas in Rome) are flooded with visitors from all over the world. One cannot help but be caught up in the immensity of the Church. It is something that I knew intellectually but did not fully appreciate until I was there.

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