Today the church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica which is the oldest of the major basilicas in Rome . The Basilica is often described as the head of all churches.
On the frontage of the Basilica, there is an inscription which reads “the mother of all churches in the world”. As we celebrate the dedication of feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica known as the mother of all churches and the Pope’s own Cathedral, the church reminds us to dedicate ourselves to God.
We are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) and God’s dwelling (Ephesians 2:2). Hence God’s dwelling should not be toil with it. We see in the gospel how Jesus wipes away those selling and buying in the temple. And He says to the sellers to take everything out and quit using the Lord’s house as a Market House.
He longs that God’s dwelling should be holy. We can keep the temple clean if we take everything that does not belong to God out of His house and allow Jesus in. He is going to wipe away whatever that does not give God glory.
Jesus Ushers In a New Life.
During the Passover feast, visitors from all over the country throng to the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Many foreigners use the courtyard of the temple only accessible to non-Jews to make some transactions and change foreign currencies.
Some use it as an avenue to sell their cattle, sheep, donkey etc. Because of the eagerness to sell their goods at this great feast, many sellers even occupy the entrance of the temple and some little inside the temple.
Many use the avenue to promote their business instead of celebrating the goodness of God for saving them out of Egypt. Some of the halls were transformed into markets. What Jesus did was like a reminder that this temple is not for economic gain but our spiritual enrichment.
Jesus loves us more than we think, He wants us to be holy and remain in total communion with Him, He does not want anything that will come in between. He is ready to make us new and acceptable to God but only if we allow Him to take control of our lives. His actions today are saying “with my presence, old things have passed away, and new things are here”, with my presence, sin has no place in you, you must be sanctified” etc.
The Temple is a House of Prayer
Whatever we do in the house of God is to deepen our communion with Him. God intends that His house will be a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:17) where we can truly worship Him. He is ushering in a new life in the life of the Jews. It is no longer business as usual. Many scholars affirm that Jesus uses this opportunity to announce His presence in the midst of all the people.
The Presence of Jesus
His presence today ushers in a new life and reminds the people to recognize the sacredness of God’s temple. When Jesus enters, there is a total change, the temple is sanctified. In the same vein, we have to invite Jesus into our lives. When He comes, He is going to wipe away everything that does not give the name of God glory.
Secondly, His presence today sanctifies the temple but angers the sellers and those who are gaining from the transaction. When we live in Jesus, His presence will make us new again but those who are gaining from the type of life we live previously will never be happy.
The only people who are happy that the children of God live in sin are the accuser of our brethren, the devil and his angels. So the presence of Jesus is a scourge to demons, a weapon against principalities and powers. Give Jesus full control of your life. You will definitely see a change. The feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica reminds us to enclose ourselves to Him.
Thirdly, let us use whatever God has given to us only for the glory of His name. One can be paid for the services he renders but let us not stop working for God even when the gain is not coming. Anything God has given to us is to promote Him.
Fourthly, Like Jesus do not fold your hands and allow evil to take its course wherever you are. You may be hated and misunderstood but that is normal. Always fight for good.
Finally, As we celebrate the feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica , Jesus reminds us to dedicate ourselves to God and present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable (Romans 12;1-2) and not to desecrate it because of what it is; the temple of God. This temple is for God only.
May God through His grace, help us to live up to His expectation. May He continue to save us from sin and temptations and hence dwell always in us. Amen
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