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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (267)

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

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).

Theme: All to you Lord, I surrender

God’s ways are not always our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. God’s mind is not our mind as His will may not always be our will. But what we can be sure of is that any human life lived in authenticity and faith and spent in attending to the ways, thoughts, mind and will of God, life becomes meaningful since only God can provide true and durable life trends.

Readings: 1st Is.22:19-23; Ps.138; 2nd Rom.11:33-36; Gospel: Mt.16:13-20.

Theme of the readings

"You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church" (Mt 16: 18).

This theme helps us to understand the trust that Jesus had in Peter and in the other disciples to be able to entrust them with his Church. This very instance helps us to understand the infallibility of the pope. The figure of Peter, confessing Jesus as Messiah and Son of God filled Jesus with hope for the Church that he was to found on the apostolic faith. Jesus designated him the rock of the Church, giving him the keys of the Kingdom and entrusting him with the power to bind and loose. So when the Pope speaks ex-cathedra (in his capacity as the successor of Peter); what he says cannot be refuted in matters of faith and morals. 

Theme: Who has the key?

Each of the readings of today’s Sunday puts before us the notion of authority. In the first reading, Isaiah recounts the transfer of power from one who has proved unworthy of the responsibility to another. In the second reading St. Paul bows before the authority of God, whose ways are impassable and unsearchable but full of wisdom. In the gospel Jesus designates Peter as rock and leader of the community of believers. We ought to keep in mind right from the start that authority is not an easy concept to define. Although it is perhaps most often associated with legitimate power, authority and power are not necessarily the same thing. For example, a mugger with a weapon has power over his/her victim, but no valid authority. On the other hand, authentic authority does have something to do with influencing the thinking and behavior of people. The Lord Jesus is calling on us today to have the keys that can open for us the doors of true authority.

Theme: Mary is our Mother Mentor and admirable

This Sunday helps us pause a while to celebrate a woman who stands out as a model of discipleship for every believer. In order to truly appreciate the role and the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we contemporary Christians need no other source than the Christian scriptures. The evangelist 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 see 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. Mary is also a mother in that she welcomed the living Word of God into her life and allowed herself to be inspired and directed by that Word to whom she conceived. Even before she fully understood the consequence of the Word God spoke to her and perhaps more significantly, even when she did comprehend the impact God’s word would have in her life and in the lives of those she loved; she agreed to mother the Word, to ponder it, as Luke tells us Luke 2:19, 51, and to bring it to birth in her words and deeds. For both of these mothering roles, Mary is blessed. “Blessed is the womb that carried you … blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” Luke 11:27, 28. Today therefore; the Church is celebrating one of the most important feasts of the Liturgical Year in her journey of salvation. The Assumption is a proof that at the end of her earthly life Mary shared the promise. Like her Son and our Lord Jesus, she was taken up, body and soul into Heaven to partake forever into the glory of eternal life in full and perfect communion with God. Yet to our consolation Mary continues to be our mother and sister who shares in dramatic events of the Church. Mary stands by us in time of difficulty, temptation and persecution as we pursue our fight against evil.

Theme: We are ambassadors and Companions

We start this Sunday reflection by reminding ourselves that any good relations among nations begin with good relationships between individuals. In the light of this, we have the duty to develop the necessary reverence for the differences that exist among ourselves without which a mature and honest interaction cannot occur. If we can make a play of words, the letter A for African resident can also stand for Ambassador.

Theme: we are present in peace and in panic

Above the office door of the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, hung a stone plaque inscribed with the words: Called or Not, God is Present. Jungs sign summarized in a few words what the joint testaments of Judaism and Christianity have put forth in thousands of words indicating that the transcendent almighty God chooses to be with humanity, to communicate, to love and move among us whether is called or not; in peace as well as in panic.

Even a superficial reading of Scripture will reveal that numerous human experiences of God were underscored by the assurance of Gods presence. Words such as: “I am with you” are from God encouraging Abraham in Genesis 17:7. “I am with you” was the promise which was reinstated with the covenant renewal in Exodus 34:9-10 and ultimately, the steady presence of God took a name, Emmanuel in Isaiah 7:14 which became flesh in the person and mission of Jesus Christ cf. Matthew 1:21-23. Jesus thereafter, made the promise of his presence a legacy of the Church which has persisted and continues until today cf. Matthew 28:20.

JesusfeedsA Theme: Come, Eat, Listen, Learn and Live

Researchers on world nutrition report that for at least 2/3 of the world’s population, lack of food is a daily experience. This class of people does not experience the slightest twinge of abdominal rumbling which may occur if a meal is skipped or delayed. On the other hand is a group of people indeep pain, sunken-eyes, emaciating bodies with a type of hunger which is virtually starvation. In reality, every hour of every day, at least 1500 people die of hunger or hunger-related causes while farmers in some of the world’s wealthiest industrialized nations are paid not to grow certain crops and to relegate others to storage bins and warehouses. To further compound this untenable situation, billions of dollars are spent annually on a variety of weight loss products and programs because 1/3 of the world’s population is bursting with 75% of its food supply. May be some of you here who are among the fortunate, for whom physical hunger is not a routine experience, it may be difficult to fully appreciate the impact of today’s readings. In both the first reading and the gospel the hungry are invited to come and be filled at the banquet which the Lord freely provides. Can these readings prove us to appreciate what God has been providing?

Readings: 1st 1Kgs.3:5.7-12; Ps.118; 2nd Rom.8.28-30; Gospel: Mt.13: 44-52.

Theme of the Readings

One of the characteristics of human beings is freedom to choice. Choice is the theme that unites the liturgical texts of today through which the Church invites us to reflect on how to live in a more evangelical way. In the Gospel, a man chooses to sell everything he owns to buy the field where he has discovered a buried treasure. Likewise, a merchant decides to sell all he has to obtain the most precious pearl of all. It should be noted that human choices are made in life.  

In contrast it is no longer man or woman who will choose at the end of time but God himself. In the parable of the dragnet, it is clear that God will make his choice about our destiny on judgement day. The second reading speaks of God’s call and man’s or woman’s subsequent response. Solomon’s prayer and God’s response to him (first reading) shows that it is in prayer where one becomes capable of making the most authentic decisions and choices in life.

Theme: All loving God, bless us with wisdom

What if? From time immemorial, flights of fancy and incredible imaginings have been launched by these two small words. What if you could be President, Prime minister, Army Commander, Inspector General of Police, a Mr. Sudil Rupareria for a day; . . . what would you do? What if you won the lottery; how would you spend it? What if you could meet a person of your choice, past or present, living or dead; whom would it be? What if there really were a magic lamp and a genie who could grant you three wishes; what would they be? What if you could travel to any place in the world; where would you go? What if you had the opportunity to pass a law; what would it concern? What if you could cure one of the world’s illnesses; which one would it be? Obviously, the answers to these “What if?” queries would vary, depending upon the respondent’s age, background, circumstances in life, preferences, etc. Young children, for example, may wish to meet Santa Claus or Superman. They may wish for cookies that grow on trees, a trip to Disneyworld or a shorter school day. But those who are more mature in the business of living the faith and making a living would probably reflect that maturity in their answers. Any serious response to a “What if” question would necessarily be rooted in and shaped by the values a person holds.

Theme: Patience pays

If we were compare the mercy and patience of God to the cruelty of some human persons, what strikes is a tremendous contrast of extremes. There is a tendency among us human beings to distinguish, discriminate and even to ridicule one another. This high measure of weakness and diminishment of personal value has in some occasions unfortunately proved to be a sufficient momentum for provoking some of the darkest periods in the history of humankind. In an effort to separate ‘good’ from ‘bad’, or the law abiding from the insurgents, some communities have wiped out other human groups on pretence of weeding out the unwanted. The only crime of those being persecuted is that they are viewed as different. This is the reason behind the Jewish holocaust and the genocides that we still witness today. Segregation and separation of peoples because of their different ethnic groups, ideas and social mores, has been a disease on the frontage of humanity for centuries. This attitude has to the Gospel and ought to be challenged by Christianity because it is not in the original agenda of God.

Readings: 1st Wis.12:13.16-19; Ps.85; 2nd Rom.8:26-27; Gospel: Mt.13:24-43.

THEME OF THE READINGS

Dichotomy in life is the great realism of Christian teaching in the liturgy of today. There is the presence of good and evil in the world surrounding us and within the human person. The master of the land sows the good seed while his enemy sows the bad seed among it. The wheat and the darnel grow together until the time of the harvest symbolising the fact that good and evil can only be distinguished at judgement both now and at the end of life (Gospel).

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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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