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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (267)

Find all the sunday reflections by our priests at the parish here.

Theme:  Who do you say I am? 

Today the conditions for discipleship are little changed. Renunciation of the selectively romanticized aspects of the person of Jesus, an indiscriminate, whole-hearted commitment to the challenge of the cross, the counterculture quality of Christian living; all are part of the believer’s answer to Jesus’ question, who do you say I am? If you save your life, you lose it, Jesus tells his followers. How do we save our life, find our life and take possession of our life? We do it basically by finding our place in the world and in society. Everyone must do that to become a unique person. But that task is fraught with danger.

Theme: Enabling the disabled

Society’s attitudes regarding its physically or mentally challenged members have evolved considerably through the centuries. Each generation, motivated by an ever-growing sensitivity and respect for another’s differences, has coined new words for referencing these special people among us. Mental retardation, for example, has been replaced by the term, mentally-challenged. Those with physical limitations, such as deafness or blindness are now described as hearing or visually challenged. Children with learning disabilities are no longer called dumb, slow or stupid; they are appreciated as having special needs. At times and in the interest of what has come to be known as political correctness, some of this newly devised vocabulary appears to be extreme, as for instance, when diminutive people are referred to as vertically challenged and those with receding hairlines are described as follicly challenged!

Theme: The Law of life

Law is essentially a good to be valued. Laws, honestly established, properly understood, carefully observed and equitably upheld function as a safeguard which protect each member of the human community. Laws provide that necessary structure which fosters the growth and development of individuals within their respective societies. Our Hebrew brothers and sisters in the faith refer to the law which gives guidance and direction to their lives as Torah. A more comprehensive term than law, Torah means instruction/teaching and is regarded as revelation from God. Torah prescribes a way of life lived in accord with the daily call of God.

To study Torah is to know God; to know God is to have life. Among the many parables and homilies of the rabbis, there is one prayer which expresses these beliefs most beautifully: ‘Blessed is God who has created us for glory and has given us Torah and thus has planted everlasting life in our midst.’ The faith which so valued the Torah and gave voice to this prayer is also expressed in today’s first reading from Deuteronomy. Faithfulness to Torah was understood as the pathway to life and a means of closeness to God. We need to return to this truth and live.

In order to truly appreciate the role and the person of Mary, contemporary Christians need no other source than the Christian scriptures. Luke, in particular, presents Mary in a manner that encourages us to sidestep the maudlin sentimentality that has accrued to her through the ages. In Luke and Acts we encounter a woman who is at once mother and mentor. Mary is mother not only in the sense that she agreed to give birth to Jesus through whom God has become incarnate in human existence; but also the mother who  welcomed the living Word of God into her life. Mary allowed herself to be inspired and be directed by that Word in all she said and did.

Even before she fully understood the ramifications of the word God spoke to her she comprehend the impact God’s word and agreed to mother the Word and to ponder it. cf. Luke 2:19, 51. For both of these mothering roles, Mary is the “blessed is the womb that carried you … blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” Luke 11:27, 28. Through the centuries, Mary‘s role as both mother and mentor has grown. We revere her and are drawn to emulate her willingness to believe God and to live in accordance with her faith. It is on record that even some non Catholics are rediscovering her, glad to find a feminine figure in the Bible worthy of honor and grace.

Theme: To be on the safe side choose wisdom

Readings like these offer us an opportunity for evaluating the quality of its liturgy, particularly its Eucharistic worship. For example, when Jesus fed the crowd with five loaves and two fish, the disciples served as ministers of his gift; it was their privilege and responsibility to distribute the bread to all, to be sure that all were satisfied, to collect the fragments left over and only then to share in the food Jesus provided. In our liturgies, we often confuse the symbols of the scriptures as they are revealed with the gestures that we liturgically act out, without thinking that we are contradicting the gospel. Eucharistic ministers, today, are those who, like the first disciples, serve the community, feed the faithful and wait on those in the crowd. But if we followed the text of the story and its symbolism, the priest and the Eucharistic ministers -the public disciples- would give out the Eucharist first and then eat what is left over, if there is anything left over. Perhaps this simple reversal of procedures would drive home an important point regarding our ministry to one another. To be a disciple is to be a servant like Jesus, who put the needs of others ahead of his own. Discipleship means to offer one’s time, talent and treasure as food for the many hungers of God’s people. Like Jesus, the disciple must have a capacity for compassion that overcomes conceit and self-centeredness with concern for the other.

Theme: Turning point

In the course of a given lifetime, individuals are confronted by a variety of crises. When serious illness strikes, the crisis is a medical one. Political crises accompany the wresting of power from one group or party by another. An economic crisis is occasioned by the collapse of a stock market, the devaluation of a major currency or the bankruptcy of some important financial organization. An international crisis occurs when one nation suddenly invades or encroaches upon another. Lesser crises are also frequently encountered. . . the car won’t start and you have to give a presentation to your boss in twenty minutes. . . unexpected guests have arrived and you haven’t anything to offer them. . . all the some, I can say that the word crisis is frequently misused. For many, the term has a consistently negative ring as in the above examples. Crises are thought of as bleak and foreboding events which are a threat to comfort, convenience and in some cases, to survival.

Theme: Hunger pangs

According to the Director General of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), about one half billion of the eight billion people who live on earth are at the brink of starvation daily. Some 200 million children become mentally handicapped or blind due to a lack of nutritious food and another 10 million succumb to other hunger related illness. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately one-third of the world’s population is underfed and one-third is hungry. Four million people die each year of starvation and 70% of children under six are undernourished. Several years ago, among several African Governments a food for all program was launched to reduce the pangs of hunger that are apparent. While such efforts are admirable and although the statistics quoted above are staggering; they pertain solely to physical hunger.

Theme: Believing is seeing beyond the sign

In recent years, the news media carried a story of a modern-day good Samaritan who packed his car each day with dozens of homemade sandwiches and traveled near Clock tower round about to distribute them to homeless and street children. Eventually, those who benefited from his generosity became familiar with the Samaritan’s customary routine and began to congregate near that round about at a specific time each day to wait for their daily gift of food. After receiving their sandwich, some ate it all immediately. Others ate only a portion of it and saved the rest for later. Still others took the sandwich their hideout to someone in their group.

Theme: All belongs to God

Appalled at the wastefulness of their students, two Secondary School teachers planted a young Pine tree on the school’s compound and named it the Free-Food Tree. Rather than discard their uneaten or unwanted meals, the students were encouraged to place them under the tree so that some outsiders who could not afford a meal could help themselves. Some students began to buy and bring an extra sandwich from the school canteen so that they would have one to put under the Free-Food Tree. Eventually, the supply of donated food was sufficient to nourish all the school’s hungry passerby with enough left over to offer to the homeless in the neighborhood. In addition to learning not to waste their share of this world’s goods, the students had their first encounter with hunger and began to understand what they could do to alleviate it. A valuable lesson indeed, considering the fact that every hour 1,500 of this world’s children die of hunger or hunger-related causes. But there are other hungers which gnaw at the human heart; these also cry out for nourishment. Today’s readings remind us of the balance that must be struck.

Theme: Ministry is our way of life

During the first two Sundays of this month, the readings called our attention to the challenge of sharing in the ministry of Jesus. Preaching the Gospel and translating its message authentically in words and works can prove to be a difficult job especially speaking the truth where it may not be wanted, upholding justice where injustices abound and defending the rights and dignity of the defenseless when it is literary impossible. These are the actions that often place disciples of Jesus at odds with their contemporaries.

Theme: The Eucharist is our life

In our village there was a 6-year-old boy named Kana who refused to go to school. Each day, despite his protests, his mother walked him to school, but as soon as she left him, he ran back home only to have his mother bring him back to the school once again. This scenario played itself out for several days, with Kana continuing to refuse to stay in school and his parents refusing to acquiesce to his desires. No inducement or threat could convince Kana to change his mind. Finally, in desperation, the boy’s parents took him to their Catechist, who said, ‘If the boy won’t listen to words, bring him to me.’ When the parents brought their son to the Catechist, he said not a word. He simply picked up the boy and held him to his heart for a long time. Then, without speaking a word, he set him down. What words alone could not accomplish, a silent embrace did. Not only did Kana go to school willingly, he went on to become a great scholar and a priest.

Theme: The Mystery of unity of God is our gift

What is the meaning of the Trinity? Today is Trinity Sunday but remember that every Sunday is a feast day of the Trinity and an occasion to celebrate one God. What does the word ‘Trinity’ mean? Does it mean that God is a mystery? God is visible, yet mystery of faith! The root of the word “Trinity” originates from the Latin word ‘trini’ which means ‘three each,’ or ‘threefold.’ The term has been used as early as the days of Tertullian to denote the central doctrine of the Christian religion. Trinity means that in Jesus dwells the Father and the Holy Spirit. And the same can be said about the Father and the Holy Spirit. In each one dwells the other two Persons of God.

Theme: Holy Spirit, teach us today

The day will come, said Teilhard de Chardin, when after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love and on that day; for the second time in the history of the world we shall have discovered fire. In a sense the annual feast of Pentecost is another opportunity placed in the path for discovering and participating in the ever-present fire which is God’s love. Pentecost rounds out and climaxes the Easter event.

All that we have remembered and celebrated, that is, Jesus’ saving death, his resurrection and ascension to glory, all of these sacred events took place so that the Holy Spirit might be unleashed upon the world. Pentecost calls us to the realization that the center of all reality; the innermost heart of all infinity, the love of the all-holy God has become our center and our heart. Pentecost confirms that God is with us as gift without reserve. This gift is joy, freedom, knowledge and peace of the divine life.

Theme: Be a people of Hope

Whether in your mind you are today you are celebrating the feast of Jesus’ ascension into eternal glory or not, the essential message of today’s celebration is that it is the inherent responsibility as disciples of Jesus to continue his mission. This responsibility has been clearly articulated by St Mark, who told his own, go into the whole world; proclaim the good news to all creation.

The same affirmation is reflected in the question of the two messengers dressed in white on the mount of Jesus’ ascension that you peopleofGalilee, why do you stand here lookingup at the skies? Rather than remain in the relative safety of that mountaintop, searching the heavens for the first glimpse of the returning Jesus, you are expected to walk down the mountain and start participating directly into the fray of the human experience by speak God’s good news with your lips and lives.

 Theme:  Unbreakable bonds

Last week we were invited to reflect on our oneness with Christ and on our universal character by considering both architectural referring to cornerstone and pastoral imagery in form of one flock and one shepherd. This week with imagery drawn from agrarian life referring to the vine and its branches hence we are challenged to consider even more deeply the mystery of our union with and in Jesus Christ. A familiar and striking image, drawn directly from the terraced hills of Israel and Judah, the vine was a motif popular among the Hebrew prophets for describing the relationship between God and Israel.

Theme:  Holy Sprit as source ofmutual love

As the early groups of Christian disciples grew and developed, they had to learn to cope with the ordinary frictions which were an inevitable aspect of inter-personal relationships. People of diverse character and background with their qualities, flaws and differing likes and dislikes had to learn to relate to one another in mutual charity in order for Christianity to thrive. All the members had to enter into the symbiosis which we call community. The Oxford English Dictionary defines symbiosis as “a mutual interactive relationship between two living things, usually to the advantage of both.” The created universe is rife with fascinating examples of symbiotic relationships.

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Sunday Masses

Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

Crowd possible, please don't be late! May God bless you!

About Our Church

Welcome to Our Lady of Africa Parish Mbuya. We are located near Bugolobi Township in Nakawa Division. It is about 5 kms from the City Centre of Kampala. Mbuya Catholic Parish is a vibrant and diverse community made up of people from different parts of Uganda. We welcome you warmly and joyfully.

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