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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (278)

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

 

ChristkingTheme: The end of his life is a beginning of our

 

This Sunday as we come to the end of this liturgical year, we ought to look to the future; the ultimate future when Jesus will return in glory for the final judgment. During this feast as we celebrate God’s Kingdom we are called to renew within our lives God’s Rule. How different Christ’s rule is from the ruthless governance originating from us human persons? Who is Jesus Christ for you? We can borrow a leaf from St. Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna. During his trial Polycarp was brought before the Roman authorities and told to curse Christ and he would be released.  He replied; for eighty-six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong, how then can I blaspheme my king Jesus Christ who saved me?  The Roman officer replied, “Unless you change your mind, I will have you burnt.”  But Polycarp said, “You threaten a fire that burns for an hour and after a while is quenched; for you are ignorant of the judgment to come and of everlasting punishment reserved for the ungodly.  Do what you wish.

THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA

9th November 2014.

Readings: 1st Ez.47:1-2.8-9.12; Ps.45:2-9; 2nd 1Cor.3:9-11.16-17; Gospel: Jn.2:13-22.

Theme of the readings

“Take all this out of here and stop using my Father’s house as a market.” The feast of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome is a celebration in which we distinguish the uniting role of the pope as the Vicar of Christ. Obviously today is a day when we reflect on the image of the pope, the bishop of Rome, the one who presides over charity. This theme of today has three important words: Father, house and Market. The pope as the successor of St Peter is referred to as the Holy Father because he is that image of the holiness of the Church of Christ. The Lateran Basilica which is dedicated to the Saviour, to St John the Evangelist and to St John the Baptist is a house of prayer for all Christians. To short change its role and function from prayer and thanksgiving would be to make it a market place.  

Theme: My house shall be called the house of prayer

Places are very important to us as people. Lovers remember where and when they first met. The memory of where we grew up stays with us even to old age. We visit grave yards to honour and remember our beloved departed relatives and friends. Public buildings matter too. Many people while on holidays visit historic sights and buildings. Our buildings remind us who and where we are. Today’s feast is about a place, a building: the Lateran Basilica in Rome.

The Lateran Basilica in Rome is the Cathedral Church of the Bishop of Rome, our Pope. Obviously, there is a history behind this Church and this feast. The Palace of the Lateran family became property of the Catholic community in 313 as a gift from the emperor Constantine. He desired it to become the Cathedral Church for the Pope which it now is.

Feast of Commemorating of all Souls of the Faithful Departed

All Souls Day makes us mindful not only of the death of our dear ones but also of our own death. The saints experienced it, the disciples experienced it, and Jesus Himself willed to undergo it. But at times like this the Church is there to encourage us and to remind us that while the life of the body may die, the life of the spirit and the good works accomplished during life remain.

These good works accompany the soul in its journey from this life and they are precious in the eyes of the Lord. These good works are what bind us to our lost loved ones till today. Stopping to consider it in this place, at this time, we might realize just how much of the lives of our saints have stayed with us even though they have physically gone: their influence, their warmth, their characteristics which we see in other family members and friends. The way we live now, which is still influenced by the way they encouraged us to live.

Theme: What makes your life meaningful?

Today, reflecting on the readings that we have just heard, I am going to preach on the subject of walking in the love of God. Exodus 22:20-26; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew 22:34-40 offers us a fundamental theme that runs throughout the entire human existence. We can even assume that it is God who offers true love, ours is to respond. First of all, we should take in God’s love for what it is a mandate, a command.

We need to respond with little regard to our feelings. Feelings are important but feelings are not decisive. It is convictions which are decisive; feelings are not. More often than not, acting on our feelings leads us down the wrong path and even into trouble. When it comes to giving ourselves to others in love we have to make decisions.

Readings: 1st Ex.22:21-27; Ps.62; 2nd 1 Thess.1:5-10; Gospel: Mt.22: 34-40.

Theme of the readings

Love God and your neighbour, and your life will have meaning. In the First Reading, it is formulated in a negative sense: "You will not ill-treat widows or orphans. If you lend money to any of my people, to anyone poor among you, you will not play the usurer with him. You will not revile God." The Gospel text provides us with a positive formulation: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul. You must love your neighbour as yourself." In the first Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, the same principle is set forth in the negative form (abandon all idols), and in the positive form (follow the example of Christ and of Paul himself, as it is the model to all believers of Macedonia and Achaia).

Mission Sunday - 19th October 2014.

Readings: 1st Is.45:1.4-6; Ps.62; 2nd 1Thess.1:1-5; Gospel: Mt.22:15-21.

Theme of the readings

"Pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God." This theme of today helps us to recognise God as above every other thing or person however powerful and great they may appear to be. For that matter Mission Sunday that we celebrate today invites us to spread the Good News of Christ to all corners of the earth. God is the Lord of the empires and of history and this should be made known to all. King Cyrus reigned over the immense Persian Empire (First Reading) but God reigned over Cyrus and providentially made him his mediator in his plans regarding history. Give to God what belongs to God, the Gospel teaches us, and to the earthly kings and emperors what belongs to them. God is the plan and purpose of history; to him is the action and onward evolution of history. There is no doubt about the fact that it is the power of God and of his Spirit that is mysteriously present in the vicissitudes that make up the fabric of history (Second Reading).

Theme: Not mere words but action

WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

missionsunday14

This Sunday’s readings which have been selected from Isaiah, 1Thessalonians and Matthew are concerned with recognizing the hand of God at work in human history while revealing a sense of the sacred upon even the most secular circumstance. Isaiah is encouraging his contemporaries with the news that their political fortunes are changing for the better, not simply because one earthly power is prevailing over another but because God has so willed it to happen. In Matthew when Jesus is confronted by adversaries he does counsel his listeners in regard to their proper and respective allegiances to civil authorities and to God keeping in mind that after all authority comes from God.

In this way, the Gospel becomes not a mere matter of words but authoritative. It was this Gospel authority that was unleashed by Jesus’ followers which was transforming Thessalonica and any place were it was accepted. The same Gospel authority can transform every family here in Uganda. Believer by believer, day by day the prerogative of welcoming this grace is ours. Shall this gospel which we hear today remain a matter of mere words, or shall it become action? We need to collaborate with God so that the word generates transformation. This adds value into what we believe since we are invited to evangelize.

Theme: Food and eternity

As metaphor for salvation which appears frequently in scriptures, the banquet motif must have held great appeal for the Israelites. After toiling long hours, in a brutal climate, on rough terrain, with only the simplest implements, they considered themselves fortunate to be able to provide a simple meal for their families; only to begin the whole laborious process all over again the next day. Surely, the very idea of a lavish free banquet at which every hunger and desire could be treated was equivalent to paradise.

But does the idea of such a feast carry the same significance for us the twenty first century modern believers? Perhaps today’s readings warrant a certain degree of serious reflection on our eating habits and life-styles. Unlike our spiritual forebears, food, and even an extravagance of food, is as readily available and as rapidly obtained as the nearest “Take away”.

With drive-through service, this so called fast food generation need not even leave our vehicles. Those not willing to wait a few more minutes can telephone a food order to an ever growing number of food factories and a Pizza will be delivered to your door steps by motorcycle. All too frequently, these meals in a carton box or plastic bag are eaten en route or alone, and without benefit of the table-talk and companionship that are also integral to an authentically nourishing experience.

Readings: 1st Ezk.18:25-28; Ps.24; 2nd Phil.2:1-11; Gospel: Mt.21:28-32.

Theme of the readings

The consciousness of one’s personal responsibility is the prevailing theme in today’s liturgy. To the exiles who accuse God of injustice for treating the "just" who do wrong differently from the "wicked" who act justly, God says, "Is it not your ways that are not just?" The upright dies because of the wrong that he himself has done, and the wicked will live to abandon wickedness. Both are responsible for their deeds. True personal responsibility, as Jesus teaches us in the Gospel, becomes manifest not so much in what we say but in what we do. Saint Paul presents Jesus Christ to the Philippians as an example of responsibility and consistency. Christ’s "yes" is a concrete "yes," incarnated in his works to bring about redemption (second reading).

Theme: To believe is my responsibility

The ability to change one’s mind is a necessary aspect of Christian living. Indeed, it is my responsibility as a believer to alter my attitude in order to bring it into alignment with the very mind of God. This kind of attitude is revealed throughout the Bible, even the person and mission of Jesus Christ consents to this truth. Ideally, the process of changing one’s mind results in a life-changing experience called conversion that is so deep to be termed a metanoia in Greek and shubh in Hebrew which means an about turn, seemlier to change of direction.

There is one experience towards the conclusion of Jesus human mission where, in Matthew’s gospel, he is described as going up on the hill that faced over Jerusalem and he was very sad. Jesus begins to weep and he says words something like, ‘If only you had heard and listened, then you would have peace.’ Jesus was very discouraged.

Theme: Fairness of God in granting the Kingdom

It is obvious that the major theme running through the whole Bible is that of ‘justice’. God is wholly just and we are called, both individually and corporately to be instruments of justice. Yet the question is, what do we mean by justice? What does the bible mean by justice? What is the justice of God? Some straight answers to these questions can be found in today’s liturgy. To comprehend God’s justice we are called to do some adjustments in our normal ways of thinking.

When we cool down and start to trust in the overwhelming grace of God, we shall realize that God is very near to us than we can imagine. What we have to take caution about is the acceptance that God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are far beyond ours. To enjoy the justice of God, we need to stop complaining and starting living a balanced life. Take this as an example; how many times in the course of a given day, have you heard someone remark, ‘That’s not fair!’ Children on a playground may bicker over a toy or piece of recreational equipment.

Theme: This Cross is a means for our Salvation

Strange as it may seem, the Cross, which was the Roman instrument for executing its basest criminals, is the foremost identifying symbol of Christianity. In its crossbars, the Cross holds in tension both the humiliation of the manner of Jesus’ death and the triumph over sin which Jesus’ dying accomplished. Because of this tension and the seemingly irreconcilable contradiction that a crucified man could also be God, the earliest generations of Christians generally avoided depicting the body of Christ on the Cross. Ironically, the oldest representation of the crucified Christ has been identified as a graffito found on a wall in Rome in the second century after Christ.

Readings: 1st Ezek.33:7-9; Ps.62; 2nd Rom.13:8-10; Gospel: Mt.18:15-20.

Theme of the readings.

On the basis of the Vatican Council II, the Catechism presents the Church by various symbols as: sheepfold and cultivated field; building of God, temple of God, family of God, Mystical Body of Christ and People of God (cf. 753-757). Today’s liturgy introduces yet another symbol; the Church as Communion. The Gospel text for this Sunday is taken from the so-called ecclesial discourse, whose core message is fraternal love. In the first reading, Ezekiel, having been appointed as watchman for the People of Israel, felt that it was his responsibility to correct the wicked children of Israel so that they would be faithful to their vocation. In addressing the Christians of Rome, Saint Paul had no doubt in asserting peremptorily that; "Love is the fulfilment of the Law."

Theme: Only true love matters

Once in a while, the daily gloomy reporting of the world’s violence, wars, hatred and inhumanity is pierced by an account of selfless courage and self-sacrifice. One such account featured the heroism of St. Maximilian Kolbe. He was a priest prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp between 1939 and 1945 when the Jews were being executed by Hitler. Fr. Maximilian Kolbe surprised his executioners when he spontaneously offered himself to replace a randomly chosen prisoner who was to be killed in place of one prisoner who had escaped. This priest of courage, without hesitation, jumped into the line and asked to substitute one victim because he had family to take care of even if it meant a few days. When interviewed minutes before execution about his heroic efforts, Maximilian Kolbe said simply, “Nobody else was doing anything. It was the only way.” Similar accounts of heroism tell of people rushing into buildings, engulfed in fire, in order to save the life of another at the risk of loosing their life.

Readings: 1st Jer.20:7-9; Ps.62; 2nd Rom.12: 1-2; Gospel: Mt.16:21-27.

Theme Of The Readings

The will of God is the supreme norm for the prophet Jeremiah, for Jesus Christ and for each of us as Christians. The cross and the sacrifice to remain faithful to it are inseparable from God’s will. Jeremiah feels the stimulus or urge of rebellion, the temptation to throw everything overboard; but "there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot" (first reading). Today’s Gospel follows Peter’s proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God (as was in the gospel of the 21st Sunday in Ordinary time).

Now, Jesus makes very clear what this means for him, as the Messiah, according to God’s plan. "I must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things in the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised to life" (Gospel). Saint Paul teaches us that true worship consists in the offering of oneself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God even to the extent of shedding one’s blood as was the case for the Uganda Martyrs (second reading).

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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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