The same, the Nigerian Archbishop remarked, can be observed in how religion has been “commercialized.”
“Today, some persons commercialize or politicize religion and are little concerned about forming their adherents to have a pure heart and a clean conscience,” Archbishop Kaigama said.
He added in reference to the Sunday Gospel reading, “The dramatic cleansing by Jesus is meant to teach us about true worship and holiness; to remind us that we are living temples of the Holy Spirit and we must purify our hearts of those vices that pitch us against God, our neighbours and ourselves.”
He further said that what Jesus wanted, and still wants today, is for the church to remain “a house of prayer for all peoples and for us to worship God in spirit and truth.”
Jesus wants the kind of worship marked by integrity, justice, compassion and sacrificial service of others, the Archbishop said March 7, adding that a place of worship is not a business centre or where to plot evil against those who are of a different religious affiliation.
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A place of prayer, he reiterated, should be a true dwelling place for God.
He said that Jesus’ “righteous anger” of whipping and driving out the money changers and traders from the temple calls God’s people to desist from spiritual laxity, social injustice and extortions of helpless citizens.
“We exhibit great piety in our places of worship but in daily life promote corruption, social injustice, and allow bloodshed, violence and other atrocities,” Archbishop Kaigama said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Archbishop has invited his compatriots to spiritually join Pope Francis who he refers to as a pilgrim of peace, in his just concluded visit to Iraq.
Archbishop Kaigama reiterated the Holy Father’s address to the Iraqi President Barham Salih, speaking of “an end to acts of violence and extremism, factions and intolerance”, saying that this message is befitting the current state of Nigeria.
“This sounds like the Holy Father was speaking to Nigerians too,” the Archbishop said, and added in his invitation to the people of God in the country to journey with the Holy Father, “A word is enough for the wise.”