The liturgical tradition of the Church places a lot of importance on dedication of churches. For instance, when it is the anniversary of the dedication of a Cathedral church (the principal church of the diocese which has the chair of the Bishop), it can be celebrated as a solemnity on a Sunday. The Basilica of St John Lateran is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome – the mother of all churches. Why do we celebrate the dedication of a church? In the Catholic tradition, the church building is not just a hall for fellowship. It is a sacred space. It is the abode of God, where the presence of God is made very tangible by the presence of the Eucharist. The church is the focus point of the believing community – the Body of Christ. Symbolically the church itself is the body of Christ. This weekend we have our Immaculate Conception church altar is rededicated and fall festival is celebrated, thanks to all your generous contribution towards this event. I am glad it's happening on a special day September 8, the Nativity of Blessed Mother Mary.
Today's liturgy points us towards the economy of salvation. The word economy coming from the Greek origin tells us of the household management. The economy of salvation tells us how God manages his household and how he places us into his loving care. All of us have an invitation to come closer to God and commit ourselves to him. But we have to balance our considerations and make decision about our commitment, our self control and our detachment. In the Gospel of today Jesus tells how much it costs us to be his true disciple and enter into his divine economy. What does it cost us to enter into the divinehousehold? He makes strong demands of us so that we are prepared to remain true to him till the end.
Jesus' words seem terrifying: "Anyone who comes to me without hating father, mother, wife,children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, cannot be my disciple" (Lk 14:26). For sure, the preacher of love is not asking us to hate the very people who we love so naturally. At the same time we shouldn't water down the demand of Jesus. Earlier in the Gospel, when the man whom Jesus invited to follow him said, "Let me go and bury my father first." Jesus answered, "Leave the dead to bury their dead"(Lk 9:59-60). Jesus is not surely calling us to be inhuman not to fulfill our duty towards our own parents and families – after all, this is demanded of us in the Ten Commandments. But Jesus also does not want to compromise. Have your priorities clear. Have a prime of place for God in Jesus in your life.BACK TO LIST