Many churches celebrate the daily passing of time with a calendar to acknowledge and remember those who have been heroic or saintly. I know my church does. So imagine my surprise when I found November 9 listed as the Feast Day of St. John Lateran, Official Church of the Pope in Rome. I wondered why so I looked for answers wherever I could. I found some interesting facts. This is the oldest church built in Rome and it is the Pope’s church even though it is not in the Vatican and is the number one church for Catholics even though St. Peter’s Basilica is in Vatican City and visited more often. It was consecrated in 324 AD to St. John the Baptist and later dedicated to St. John the Evangelist in the twelfth century. So now it is in honor of them both. But they have their own days of honor. You see, the person who is honored on the calendar date is to become for one an example of goodness and righteousness–someone who would set a good example for the person who looks into their life or reason for being part of the calendar celebration.
So, why a church? Well, a church is supposed to be clean and well kept. It is a place where a person can sit and quietly reflect on the important things of life. It can be decorated and polished and its contents can be moved or changed. It can hold a small group or a large congregation. And it can make one feel peaceful or happy or fulfilled. It is usually a safe place to sit and rest. It is a friend.
Aha! If I truly believe that my body and soul, my mind and heart can do all the things a church does then I can think of myself as a holy place and take care of myself in various ways so that I can become a place where others can come and enjoy life with me and together we can make the world a better place. What a great thought! What a wonderful reason to celebrate the holy day of a Church. Makes me realize even more,”In the word church,UR in the middle of it.” And you and I together are a powerful team for good.