My dear people of God,  today is a special sunday because as we gather to celebrate the 2nd Sunday of ordinary time , Mother Church also invites us to celebrate ” WORLD DAY FOR MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES”. This celebration was instituted by Pope Pius X in 1914 and  is fixed for January each year.  It is a day set aside in the Catholic world to recall the Biblical mandate to welcome strangers in our midst and to love our neighbour as ourselves.
This year, His Holiness, Pope Francis has chosen for us the theme” CHURCH WITHOUT FRONTIERS,  MOTHER FOR ALL”. This theme reminds us of the Church’s mandate to welcome all people without distinction or limits, so as to proclaim that God is love.
Beloved,  since the Church by nature is a mother to all, we who are members have an obligation to make this mandate a reality by welcoming and accepting all people who come into the Church. In effect,  there should be no discrimination and division in the Church because in the sight of God we are equal. It is not a matter of just tolerating the other person but rather making the person feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. This should go beyond the mere exchange of the kiss of peace but sadly this not the case. How many of us know the person who sits next to us on the pew week in and week out , as in his name, his family and his residence.  We don’t and as a result the Church which should be a mother to welcome and accept all , has become a step mother and a place of diplomacy;  where for the sake of the camera we smile as if all is well. Beloved, this hypocrisy must stop because the Church is not a place of pretence.
Let us move away from the superficial way of relating to one another. Beloved,  don’t just call me your brother or sister rather let feel like your brother or sister by the way you relate with me.
Beloved, the first as well as the gospel readings of today reminds us that the call of God demands a swift response in humility and obedience. While the second reading tells us that the body is the temple of God because it enshrines the image of God as well as the tabernacle of Christ and a place where we encounter God.
Kindly share this homily with your friends to remind them that though the Church is a mother by nature our attitude can make the Church look like a step mother in the eyes of the world.
This has been Fr. Dolphyne’s presentation for the 2nd Sunday of ordinary time,  year  b.

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