7 Nov 2014

9th November 2014 - Limerick Synod 2016 - Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

On this weeks programme the SS102fm team is joined by Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon who sets out to tell us about Synod 2016 in the Limerick diocese. We have our regular gospel reflection as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.
You can listen to the full podcast of this weeks programme HERE.
Synod 2016
As covered back on SS102fm in October, Bishop Brendan Leahy has convoked a synod for the diocese of Limerick to be held from 8th to 11th April 2016. It is the first synod in Limerick since 1937 and in Ireland since the 1950's. Obviously there are a lot of questions around what is a synod? Why is Limerick holding one now? Who is to be involved and what will happen? These are all types of questions which have arisen. On this weeks programme Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon joins us to introduce the Synod and what the hopes and plans for the Synod and how the whole diocese can be involved in the synodal process up to April 2016. 

Synod of Whitby Mural  by Juliet MacMichael

in the St. Hilda Room St. Hilda's Priory

You can listen to the interview with Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon about Synod 2016 excerpted from the main programme HERE.
You can find out more at the Synod 2016 website which is available HERE (please bear in mind it is under construction and will go live from November 15th 2014)
You can find out more about the Synod at the Limerick diocesan website HERE.
If you're wondering what a Synod is and what it might look like - this article in the American National Catholic Register might be of interest - as well as a general background, it lists the experiences of four diocese. Its short but gives an insight HERE.
You can follow all articles on SS102fm on Synod 2016 which will have the tag  "Synod 2016".
Gospel - John 2:13-22
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me." The Jews then said to him, "What sign have you to show us for doing this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans 
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Papal Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist
From Deacon Greg Kandra:
As the oldest church of its kind, the Lateran Basilica is the “mother church” of Rome—and the church of the bishop of Rome, the pope.

If you ever get to Rome to see the Lateran basilica, you see a beautiful work of architecture and a powerful and inspiring piece of history.

But you also see something else.

It represents, in a sense, all the churches of the Catholic world: those places where the holy sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated again and again, in spaces large and small; the churches where children are baptized; where couples are married; where sins are forgiven and hope is renewed.

Here is the universal church—wherever God makes himself present in his Word, in the Eucharist, in the people..........[snip]
Our great challenge as members of the Church, the Body of Christ, is to carry it on, to continue to build it up.

We can never forget: our Church was founded by a carpenter. And he left us with the tools to finish what he began: lessons in love and sacrifice, fidelity and mercy.

These are the building materials of our faith. This is what the Church is made of.

And this, as a result, is the great ongoing work of our lives.

This morning, as we honor the “mother church” of the Catholic Church, we whisper a quiet prayer of thanksgiving for this church, dedicated to the mother of us all.
Reflection from Fr John Zuhlsdorf on the feast day and the understanding of why we honour the consecration of church buildings:

This year the 32nd Ordinary Sunday is displaced by the Feast of the Dedication of the Papal Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist, which we call St John Lateran. Rome’s Cathedral was solemnly consecrated on 9 November 324. The Lateran Basilica is “omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput… the Mother and Head of all the Churches of the City and the World”.

The original basilica was constructed by the Emperor Constantine. The Bishop of Rome’s cathedra, or throne, is there, the symbol of his teaching authority. The nearby baptistery is the ancient place of Christian initiation for the Church of Rome.

We celebrate solemnly the day a church is “born”. Every person has a “name day” and a “birthday”. So too a church. Our churches are dedicated or consecrated in honor of saints or mysteries of the Faith. The celebration of the dedication recalls the sanctity of the place which, as a consecrated building, has been removed from the temporal order and given entirely to God.

Church buildings should be rich in sacred symbols. This includes a sanctuary with its altar, the sacred space within the sacred space mirroring the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem. The prayers for the solemn consecration of a church, especially in the older, traditional Roman Rite, connect the earthly church building to the heavenly Jerusalem of the life to come, described in Scriptures especially in the Book of Revelation.

The rite of consecration and the annual feast of its dedication reflect that the church building is a house of prayer and the place of sacrifice. It is a foreshadowing of the heavenly Jerusalem. It is the microcosm of the Church Universal, the nuptial chamber of the Spouse and the Bride, the way to Calvary and the Garden of the Tomb.

A church must reflect its awesome purpose. It is a place where a soul peers through the cleft in the rock at God’s back as He passes by (Exodus 33), where he searches for the beloved in the palace (Song of Songs), where he gazes through the dark mirror (1 Cor 13). This is where the soul simultaneously expands in worship and shrinks down in awe at mystery’s encounter.

When Pope Sylvester dedicated the Lateran Basilica he called it the “Domus Dei … House of God”. A church building reflects that we are to be like the “living stones” who build up a holy spiritual Church (1 Peter 2:5). Over the doors of many old churches you find the phrase “House of God and Gate of Heaven”. In Genesis 28, Jacob awakes from his vision of the angels ascending and descending the ladder betwixt heaven and earth. Trembling, Jacob says: “How terrible is this place! This is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven.” “Terribilis est locus iste!” is the opening chant for the Mass of the Dedication of a Church.

The rite of consecration and texts of the dedication feast recall that, not just the building, but the Christian’s soul belongs to God and is to be holy. The consecration of the church building is much like a baptism. In the traditional Roman rite there is an exorcism with “Gregorian Water”, a mixture of ash, salt, water, wine used exclusively for special purifications of churches and altars. The altar is “clothed” as with baptismal robes. Its walls are anointed with chrism, as we were in baptism and confirmation. There is the lighting of candles and their solemn placement at the points where the walls were anointed. At the beginning of the traditional rite of baptism, the one to be baptized is interrogated, “What do you seek?” He responds, “Faith” (not “Baptism” as in the post-Conciliar ritual). Then, “What will Faith give you?” “Eternal life”, he says. A church must reflect in every way not only the splendor of God’s gift of Faith, enabling us to embrace what is mysterious, but also the goal of Faith: eternal life. A church should reflect the splendors of our Catholic Faith and give us a foretaste of heaven.
You can read more about the feast of the dedication of St John Lateran here and here.
Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4
Saints of the Week
November 10th - St Leo the Great
November 11th - St Martin of Tours
November 12th - St Josaphat
November 13th - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
November 14th - St Laurence O'Toole
November 15th - St Albert the Great
Pope's Intentions for the month of November

Lonely people: That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.

Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.

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