Dear Brothers and sisters –
At the end of the 1942 movie Mrs. Miniver, having endured the horrible blitz of the German bombing, with tragedy and loss of loved ones, the people stand in their ruined church, the roof gone, the walls barely standing, and pray. The church is not the walls and roof of the building. The basilica of St. John Lateran has been burnt and pillaged and rebuilt any number of times over the centuries. St. John Lateran and all its children are not the walls and roof of the church. Instead, it’s walls are built of the bodies who have stood in it praying, and the roof is built of their faith. There are over a million bricks in this monastery, but the bricks do not make up Gethsemani. The thousands and millions who have gone before us and the thousands and millions who will come after us, and we, here today, praying together, we are the bricks and stones of the Church.