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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (278)

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

Theme: Be purified and be reconciled with God

My brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are entering a new season, one of penance and mortification. Together, we have gathered here to celebrate Ash Wednesday, the first of forty days of the Lenten Season that precedes Easter. On this special occasion, we are called to be reconciled to God. Through the sacramental of ashes that is symbolic of penance, we are reminded that we as sinners are but dust and ashes cf. Genesis 18:27

Today, in preparation for the joy of Easter that approaches, we need to call upon the mercy of the Lord Jesus, asking Him for His blessings and forgiveness for the Heavenly Father does not want us to die but to live with the risen Christ who reigns forever and ever. As such, through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we ought to prepare ourselves to celebrate the death and glorious Resurrection of Christ our Saviour by being cleansed from our sins through a renewal of spirit.

Theme: Nothing can quarantine us from the love of God

Through the centuries, humanity has been beset by a myriad of illnesses some of which have altered the course of history. For example, in 1348 the Black Death or Bubonic plague first reached Europe from the East. By 1350, more than half the population of the continent had died. In about 20 years, the plague reduced the population of the civilized world by 75 percent! In 1918 influenza claimed more than 20,000,000 people worldwide; with more than 548,000 succumbing in Africa alone.

In the 1940s, polio swept the world, leaving thousands crippled and maimed in its wake. Nearer to our times, cancers of all kind continue to afflict and kill thousands, Malaria still kill people today in millions while Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and EBOLA have yet to be completely understood and are far from being controlled. When these and so many other common ailments strike, one of the first reactions is to quarantine the sick so as to protect the healthy. Separated from rest of society, those held in quarantine suffer doubly, first from their illness and then from the isolation. In the ancient world, victims of leprosy knew all too well this double dose of suffering.

Theme: Dealing With Discrepancies

Only some will argue about the fact that God’s concerns are universal and that the call to discipleship has been graciously and indiscriminately extended to all people of every race, nationality, gender, creed and background. It is only when we come to put facts into practice that a gaping rift between the ideal and the reality we too easily accept. What accounts for this discrepancy? All such discrepancies can be answered in one word: PREJUDICE. Prejudice creates the gaping rift between God’s universal vision and our often myopic and selective insight. Prejudice decides that certain people are better than others and more worthy of attention, while it writes off others as valueless and not worth the effort.

Prejudice has gone to the voting polls and presidential palaces worldwide leaving thousands refuges, dead and displaced. Prejudice organized and executed the systematic annihilation of six million Jews whose beliefs and traditions were considered a threat to racial purity. Prejudice rounded up and forcibly detained and executed European citizens in Nazi camps during World War II. Prejudice denied women in the U.S. the right to vote until 1921. Prejudice kept Citizens of South Africa divided for decades until some had to go to war. Prejudice Kept North and South Sudan at war against one another for 50 years and thereafter a useless civil war that is leaving millions dead or in exile.

Theme: A Prophet Like Moses

In every age there has always been urgent need for men, women and children of courage willing to raise their voices in the service of the truth and to confront injustice wherever and whenever it existed. Such work however requires a thick skin; a heart warm enough to forgive and big enough to forget the offenses of others; a willingness to begin anew each day, enough strength of spirit to be lonely and unpopular, a faith that believes that the impossible can be realized and that the seemingly insurmountable is only a stepping stone to further challenges. Those who attempt this often difficult and unpleasant task should expect no gratitude or praise for their efforts; rather, they must accept to bear the brunt of criticism and at times hostility. Those seeking stability, security and personal satisfaction should channel their efforts elsewhere.

As unappealing as it seems, these courageous, willing and capable are those few people who through the centuries have had the generosity of heart and the clarity of spirit to respond to this world’s challenge. We call these courageous souls witness, martyrs and prophets. As regards the history of our salvation, these were the people who were sensitive enough to hear the call of God and strong enough to respond to it. These were the people who so understood and accepted their solidarity with the worldwide human family that they were ready to suffer its rejection rather than shun their responsibility to bring the light and truth of God’s Word to bear on every aspect of the human experience. Depending on what the situation or particular circumstance may warrant, the Word of God, as mediated by the prophets can either “root up and tear down, destroy and demolish or build and plant” Jeremiah 1:10.

Theme: Work and prayer must be our choice

What do you do for a living? What are you going to do when you grow up? Questions like these have launched many a conversation. But, far from simply being ‘ice-breakers’ or ‘small-talk’, questions like these probe an elemental aspect of the human experience. Why? Because these are not fundamentally questions about jobs and pay but questions about life. . . my life, your life. Work is whatever we put ourselves into, whatever we expend energy on for the sake of accomplishing or achieving something. Ideally, work is not what we do for a living but what we do with our living.

Fortunate are those whose work is a fulfilling and worthwhile expression of their talents and character. Personally, I have always felt most privileged in that, for all of my adult life, I have been either teaching Catholic faith or writing about it. For me, this has been a labor that I thoroughly enjoy and in which I find ever-growing fulfillment. I have often compared myself to a tennis player who spends their day at a game they love and makes a living at it! However, I am well aware that mine is not a universal experience.

For many people, work is a burdensome task which is unhappily carried out because life’s necessities demand that it be so. There are many who must spend hours each day, year in and year out, at a job which is unfulfilling in order to put food on the table, pay for life demands and put fuel in the car. How can such work bring meaning or joy to life? How can it be an adequate expression of a person’s unique gifts and personality? Obviously it cannot, but there is a remedy to this seemingly irreparable situation. While one may not be able to leave the job or the work is required to do, it is possible to change the attitude with which work is approached and accomplished.

 Theme: Here I am

A simple glance at the readings of today will enable you to easily identify their unifying theme, which is ‘vocation’. Samuel was called by God for service and was aided to discern the authenticity of his vocation by his mentor, Eli. In the second reading, Paul’s exhorts Corinthians to keep focused on their vocation to follow Christ. This demands a new way of life which reflects the presence of the Spirit. St John describes Christian vocation as a personal invitation to come to Christ, see the truth and to stay faithful with him throughout life. All these combined remind us of our vocation as the baptized; we need to respect our vocations.

Is.60:1-6; Ps.71; Eph.3:2-6; Mt.2:1-12.

Theme of the readings

"Open your treasures!" This theme indicates the action of the Wise men when they found the Messiah. We are told that they opened their treasures and gave gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to the new born king. They gave the best and most valuable gifts from what they had as a sign of their gratitude to God for the fulfilment of the Promises of God to the world. 

Theme: Salvation is here

The annual commemoration of the baptism of Jesus allows each one of us to pause and consider not only that inaugural event of Jesus’ public ministry but also our own baptism. Those who were baptized as adults and shared in the experience of the catechumenate can readily appreciate the process of Christian initiation; those who were baptized in infancy can appropriate the catechumenate experience later in life while learning from those who have handed on to them the rich heritage of the faith. Each year, both the original Christians and adult converts to Christ have the opportunity to become renewed in their baptismal commitment by sharing in the preparation of the catechumens who are baptized at the Easter vigil.

Theme: thank you God for giving me year 2015

Time is now, the Lord is presenting to all of us yet another precious gift called time. Do I have an agenda before hand so as to benefit from it? What history do I request God to allow me the energy and opportunity to make good use of this time here and now!

First Reading: Numbers, 6:22-27

This was a liturgical prayer done in the Temple while concluding liturgical celebration. Blessings mean to ask some one of importance to impart divine favor on the interested. People still believe that if a person of God imparts a blessing or a curse, then it will be effective. The power to bless rests with the will and power of God; the priest is primarily an instrument to pronounce the word through which blessings pass. The blessing formula here contains the word bless, keep you, shine on you, be gracious, un-cover his face, bring you peace. In a word, God’s very self is invoked.

Theme: A feast of presence and presents

It is well known fact that before the feast of Christmas was established around the fourth century, Christians in Egypt were celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord as a unitive festival which commemorated both the incarnation and baptism of Jesus. As early as 210 AD, Clement of Alexandria referred to Epiphany in association with Jesus’ baptism and in a sermon preached on Pentecost in 386 A.D., the golden mouthed John Chrysostom called the feast the first of the Christian festivals, celebrating the appearance of God on earth. Derived from the Greek word epiphanos/manifestation, the term was originally used to designate important events in the life of a king such as his birth, ascendancy to the throne and official visit to a city.

Adapted by Christians, epiphany was the word which initially referred to the first and final comings of Christ cf. Titus 2:11,13. Thereafter, the term also described the miracles, healings and signs of Jesus as epiphanies or manifestations of divine power. In the middle Ages, it was customary on Epiphany to bless homes with the newly blessed water and with incense. Because of its continuing association with water and light, two of the elemental symbols of our faith; and because of its celebration occurs at the beginning of a new calendar year, perhaps the feast of Epiphany can afford contemporary believers the opportunity of a teachable moment. In some countries, the feast of Epiphany is an occasion for gift-giving, following the tradition of the magi who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.

Stable1The theme: The Word Become Flesh and dwelt among us

My dear friends, throughout Advent there is a note of underlying joy and expectancy. It reaches its height on the 25th day of December as the feast of the birth of Christ is finally celebrated. We are exhorted: ‘to exult for joy in the Lord’ and ‘be happy at all times’ because the saviour is born. Now let us reflect together through the readings that MotherChurch provides for us today.

JMJ

Theme: The gift of a holy Family

On this, the feast of the Holy Family, we are all invited to reflect beyond the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph personalities who have figured so importantly in our salvation history; but also upon all the other families that comprise the one universal family of humankind. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors; the ties that bind us one to another within our global network of families have suffered a series of assaults over the past generations. This is a fact that need not be argued; the evidence of relational weakness and even decay is obvious. This weakness affects every one of us to one degree or another.

Stable1

Theme: Today a Saviour has been born to you

Christmas is again here among us. During all the four weeks of Advent we have been waiting and praying for the coming blessings of Christmas. And now Christmas is here. Today the angels are bringing us the good news of great joy for all the people, for to us is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. This good news of great joy is for all the people of God. As people of God we have a claim to the joy and the peace that the birth of Christ brings to the world. But how do I personally enter into this ‘great joy’ of Christmas? Christmas rings out ‘joy to the world,’ yes, but how do I make this joy my own? This is an important question, for, even though God has declared joy to the whole world, there are still many among us who do not flow in this joy, many among us who do not know how to claim this joy and make it their own personally.

1st Reading: 2Sam.7:1-5.8-11.16; Ps.88; 2nd Reading: Rom.16:25-27; Gospel: Lk:1:26-38

Theme of the readings

"Nothing is impossible to God" is a divine expression said by the angel Gabriel and is our theme today. This was the response to the question of the Virgin Mary on how she would be the mother of the Lord when she did not know a man in the natural sense of the word. To appreciate the work of God we must know that God is divine and what he does goes beyond nature, as it is shown in this gospel text: Jesus said to them, surely the reason why you are wrong is that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God – Mk.12:24.

Theme: Where Does God Live?

In many countries, the Christmas crib is one of the most recognizable symbols of the season. The images of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, magi and farm animals cluster around a trough of hay within which an image of the baby Jesus is placed to mark yet another celebration of his birth. Children, having their first experience of the crib are apt to ask questions which cause adults to stop and think before attempting a response. One question in particular remains fresh in my memory.

Where does Jesus live for the rest of the year? Today’s readings invite us to give some consideration to the thoughts which prompted that innocent question. Where, indeed, does God live? Is there a special place where God can be found? Can any place or any thing contain God’s presence? By the time the Israelites returned from exile in Babylonia, their many experiences of God had led them to understand that there was nowhere that God was not present. The teaching which was familiar insisted; if I fly toward dawn, or settle across the sea even there you take hold of me, your right hand directs me . . . if I scale the heavens you are there! I plunge to the depths, you are there! But before they arrived at this understanding, our ancestors in the faith recognized and sought God’s presence was on mountains, in the desert cloud and pillar of fire, in the tent of meeting, the Ark of the Covenant and later in the temple. How about me and you? Do we recognize that God is infinite?

Theme: Joy to the World!

An atmosphere of joy welcomes and surrounds us as begin this third Sunday of Advent which traditionally named Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday. Christian joy that we ought to experience is that emotion springing from our deep down confidence that God is in perfect control of everything. Christian joy is not an emotion on top of an emotion. 

It is not a feeling on top of a feeling.  It is a feeling on top of a fact.  It is an emotional response to what I know to be true about my God.  That is the substance of it.  In today’s second reading St. Paul’s serves to underscore Advent as a celebration of the already-experienced and yet-to-be experienced reality of God’s coming among humankind.

The only adequate response to this profound reality is a joy that springs from a well that is deep within and never runs dry regardless of what happens. Too often, joy is equated with being happy, but as the word indicates, happiness comes from positive happenstances or happenings which excite, delight, please and amuse. When negative or unpleasant happenings occur, happiness evaporates. Joy, however, penetrates, permeates and persists despite the circumstances.

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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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