Today we celebrate the Dedication of the Latern Basilica in Rome. Just as the Cathedral (the place of the bishop – successor of the apostles) in any Catholic diocese is the mother church of all the individual parish churches, so this basilica (the place of the bishop of Rome – successor of St Peter) is the mother church of all the dioceses that make up the universal Church.
In the Old Testament, the Temple in Jerusalem was a special place of God’s presence. In the New Testament, our church buildings are too a special place of God’s presence among his people. One primary reason for this is the Real Eucharistic Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. The true and ultimate presence of God however in our world is in the Mystical Body of Christ, the assembly of believers – the Church.
God’s presence isn’t just in the Church, it is within ME!!! I am a living stone in this spiritual ‘Church’ containing God.
One of my favourite hymns is ‘Come and Fill this Temple’ which can be viewed at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS4QvG1UqNs. It gives a sense of God being present among his assembled people. It also gives a sense of the joy and wonder that should fill our souls when we contemplate this divine visitation. It should also fill us with a sense of the purity of life proper to have such a holy Guest living within us.