Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Our Chapel

Remove your sandals... You are standing in a Holy place... The lord says (Exodus 3:5-6)

As far as I know most of the religious seminaries and formation houses have a chapel where seminarians, sisters or other people interested do come, go and pay reverence to God. Here in Lavigerie community, we have a small chapel located a few meters from the main gate opposite the parking car yard. One will quickly note that at the main entrance there are two rooms facing one another. On the left, it is a small store where we treasure all liturgical instruments while on the right side it is a sacristy. Inside the chapel there is a beautiful Altar erected at the epicenter while on the right side there is a Tabernacle. The Tabernacle and the Altar are made out of Africa indigenous tree signifying the blessing God has endowed African land and its resources; the resources, which have potency to actualize something beautiful, like this Tabernacle. 

The same resources have actualized a beautiful statue of our Lady of Africa located on the left side of the altar. We, M.Afr. members, owe devotion to her. One will note that she is holding her Son, Jesus on her arms, presenting her to the world and we as children of Mary, she calls each one of us to present her son to all people whom we encounter in our daily lives. The triangular windows in the chapel have different colors: green, yellow and red. On a beautiful morning the rising sun overflows in our prayerful chapel with a  contemplative light reflecting God's work in creation.

A Chapel is a holy dwelling place of God, which you and I should be aware. We are called to remove the sandal of unreverence, disrespect, dishonor, undervaluing, confusion, unforgiveness, condemning, disagreement from our feet in this case from our heart. It is in this perspective that Jesus, who is our master, tells us that before we gets into the dwelling place of God, we must leave everything we have against one another and reconcile so as to be acceptable people to God (Matt 5:24). The response of God to Moses should be addressed to us today “I am the Lord your God who is speaking”... remove the sandals from your feet. Jesus himself took the house of God as a holy place and that is why he never advocated people to do what was not expected there by chasing them in the temple. It is worth noting that it is in our chapel that the species of bread and wine are made sacred in the altar (Matt 23:19). To respect the temple of God is to respect Him who dwells in it and to disrespect the dwelling place of God is to disrespect He who dwells in it, as Jesus would remind us (Matt 23). Now guided by this message of Christ; my brothers in Christ let us always remember that St Paul reminds us that one who is being instructed in the word like the way I am instructing you should share all good things with others (Gal 6:6). The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

Muli Joseph