Today we celebrate the dedication of The Basilica of Saint John Lateran. It is affectionately referred to as “the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world” because it is the Pope’s cathedral. We have rich traditions that link Saint Peter with the Lateran Basilica, and these traditions remind us that the rock of our Faith is Jesus Christ.
I once heard a homily in which Saint Peter was described as “the everyman.” These words have echoed in my heart as I have been praying, suffering, and sacrificing for the Church we love. Our Lord chose Simon and called him Peter, the rock, upon whom he would build His Church. (Matthew 16). In another passage, Our Lord encourages us to build the spiritual edifice of our hearts on rock and not on sand. (Luke 6). The psalmist cries out to the Lord saying God is “my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.” (Psalm 18).
When we think of this great feast day today, let us ask for the gift of great faith and great humility. The Lord calls all of us to loving service no matter our state in life, but the Holy Father has an especially important role of service in the Church. He stands in the place of Saint Peter and is to be the spiritual father and pastor to over one billion souls. His task is to lead us to holiness in this life and union with God in the next. Since he is only human, like us, we need to pray for him that he will remain faithful to the Lord.
Sisters, let us lift the Holy Father up in prayer today. Let us look to the Our Lord who is our rock and fortress as we ask for every grace from Heaven for those who are called to the service of leadership.
At various times in history, the Lateran Basilica suffered attacks and earthquakes, and this serves, at least for me, as a reminder that all of us must be purified and grow in holiness so that we will be able to see the Lord face to face. The basilicas, the relics, the art, the music, the symbols, however majestic and however important, are mere shadows in comparison to the life the Lord has prepared for us in Heaven.
Jesus Christ is the rock of our Faith. Continue to seek the graces of the Sacraments and find Him in the Eucharist and the Word, sisters!
Sister Maria Kim Bui is a Daughter of Saint Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She is originally from Tempe, AZ, spent most of her fourteen years in religious life in the northeast, some time in Texas, and now was recently asked to serve as the director of marketing and sales at the Sisters' publishing house in Boston. Find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations Mystery: Belong found here.