HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA IN ROME
HOMILY THEME: THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
BY: Fr. Cyril Akindele Osadare
Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12;
1Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17;
One of the major problems we have in all areas of our life in this country is that we lack the culture of maintenance. There have been so many wonderful projects and infrastructures that have been done by past governments and administrations that if they have been well maintained, we would only need very little to add now. We use things till they cannot serve us again and we begin to look for another. If only we maintain, update, regig the old ones, they will look new and beautiful everyday.
We celebrate today the dedication of the oldest and the mother of all the basilica, John Lateran Basilica. She is the mother of all the churches, she is even older than the St. Peter basilica and she remains the seat of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.
Our readings today has a tone of purification and not destroying the good things that have been handed on to us. In the gospel, the zeal for the house of God filled Jesus that he chastised those who were out to destroy the temple of God. He turned over their tables for they have almost turned the house of prayer to den of robbers. In the first reading, there was an injection of fresh waters to refresh the stagnant water so that the entire river can serve it’s right purpose of giving life. The river wasn’t abandoned or allowed to get destroyed but it was refreshed. That is why St. Paul appeals in the second reading that each one must contribute something significant to ensure the continuation of the gospel.
Why has the Catholic Church maintained its character, substance and identity for all these years? It is because there have been conscious effort to maintain the church through constant purification when necessary, injection of new ideas if required and continuous contributions from generation to generation. Each one of us must look within his or her life today and ask the important questions and ensure that we maintain our solidity and identity as a group and as individuals building on the effort of yesterday to make a good today so that we can have a better tomorrow. We cannot close our eyes when the effort of our past heroes are getting destroyed or even when all we suffered for are getting soiled in our own very eyes. We must constantly refresh, purify and build up ourselves regularly so that we can continue to be better. May the Lord sustain us with his grace till the end. Amen.
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