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This house is God's

Beloved in Christ, as we gather this morning to worship our God, mother church invites us  to celebrate the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Therefore our readings are from Ezekiel 47: 1-2, 8-9, 12; 1Cor. 3:9c-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22.
This has enabled me to choose as our theme this morning “THIS HOUSE IS GOD’S”. This is to help us reflects on our attitude in the house of God as a place of prayer and worship.
Beloved, every church is a place of the presence of Jesus and when we honour the church, we honour Jesus. The church whose dedication we are celebrating this sunday is the Basilica of St. John Lateran.  This Basilica is the Cathedral of the Pope because it contains the Cathedra(the seat of the Bishop). For example in our diocese the Star of the Sea Catholic Church is the Cathedral church because it contains the Cathedra(seat) of the Bishop.
The Cathedra is the symbol of the Bishop’s authority and magisterium. And in the words of Pope Benedict XV1 as we celebrate this feast we honour the teaching office of our Holy Father as well as the unity of the people of God around the Cathedra of our Holy Father as he teaches.
Beloved in Christ, the site where the Basilica stands was the palace of the Laterani, the administrators of the Roman emperors. However it was Constantine who gave it to the church after his famous edit of Milan in 313AD. The Pope then adopted it and it became a church and was dedicated on 9th November, 324AD by Pope Sylvester 1.
We are thus  celebrating God’s special presence and indwelling in a building  set apart for divine worship.  I therefore invites you to reflects on your attitude whenever  you enter a church building. Do you see it as a special place or like a normal building?
My dear friend, we know that God is everywhere  but that notwithstanding we also know that the glory of God dwells  in buildings dedicated to the worship of God. Therefore if the church is a place of worship; why do you go there to gossip ; why do you go there chewing gum. Interestingly also these day  some people intentionally go to church late so as to show off their new dresses and hairstyles.  Has the church now become a place of fashion?  Also the church has become a place to display the latest mobile phones, all in the name of taking pictures.  And for some the church is the place to be if you want to be  active on social media for you will get alot of interesting things to post online. How sad and unfortunate.
Beloved in Christ, kindly remind your friends that the Church is a place that has been set aside for the worship of God and for prayer by sharing this homily with them. This has been Fr. Dolphyne’s presentation. May God bless you.  Amen.

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