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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (278)

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

Theme: Our Father is God of eternal life

One of the saddest of all human experiences is the death of a child. Whether that child is 4 or 40 years, the grief of the parent who suffers such a loss is spiritually and psychologically staggering, and mourning may continue for years. As difficult as such a death is, even more unbearable is the death of a child or other loved one among family and friends who are not sustained by any belief in an afterlife. Once I was present at the funeral of such a child, a young boy our rural Parish. He was an only child who was hit by a car. His family’s grief was too much; they were beyond consolation. Their secular stand did not include the hope that his life continued, somehow, beyond the grave. When such a death occurs, without hope, the living are also mortally wounded and nothing is ever the same again. When one is dying, you hear some voices saying “For God’s sake, where is God?” “And from within those who have faith, a voice can be heard whispering: Where? ... This is where….struggling here from this death point.

2Mac.7:1-2.9-14; Ps.17; 2Thess.2:16-3:5; Lk.20:27-38.

From the pragmatic point of view; we know that human life ends in physical death. Because death brings our love, relations, friendship, progress and suffering for that matter, to an end some people doubt that there is life beyond death. The eternal destiny of man and woman that our faith promises is a spiritual reality. Over the centuries, peoples, cultures, philosophies and ideologies have tried to reconcile the idea that even if human life ends in death there is something else that goes beyond what our senses can perceive. Naming our children for instance, after our ancestors who passed on, shows this hope that the person is not completely dead and forever gone. Even if this individual is not seen, the memory of their good deeds lingers on with us in the child named after the deceased. Terms used to describe this hope include: re-incarnation, spiritualism, eternity and resurrection.

Wis.11:22-12:2; Ps.144; 2Thess.1:11-2:2; Lk.19:1-10.

Zacchaeus come down! The invitation of Jesus to Zacchaeus to descend from the tree he had claimed is very symbolic. Salvation has come to this house Jesus would later on tell him. As much as he had climbed the sycamore tree in order to get a glimpse of Jesus, the Lord wanted to stay at his house so that the two could have a meaningful encounter.

Theme: God waits patiently for sinners to repent

Here is a story that complements that of Zacchaeus in today’s Gospel. A lawyer with a well-earned reputation for arrogance and ruthlessness was married and he had one daughter. But this lawyer’s workaholic lifestyle left little time for his family and he further jeopardized his home life by doing whatever came to his mind. One evening, this lawyer walked into a Mall where a robbery was in progress. He was shot twice and critically wounded. When he regained consciousness, he had amnesia and was paralyzed. Slowly and with great effort, the lawyer was rehabilitated, not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually. As he gained a sense of himself, he became aware of the damage he had caused to his family, his clients and himself.

Theme: What perspective of life do you have?

Christians often ask why God does not speak to them, as he is believed to have done in former days. When I hear such questions, it always makes me think of the people of the Israelites who often asked how it could be that God often showed himself to people in the olden days while nowadays nobody ever sees him. The answer is simple and here it is, ‘Nowadays there is no longer anybody who can bow low enough. We need to keep in mind that the human psyche is by nature religious and to explore this idea in depth we have to put our finger on the prayer-pulse of human beings much in the same way that the Jesus does today in his parable of two men at prayer. One man approached God humbly. Aware of no one else except God, he prayed simply, quietly.

Ecc.35:12-14.16-19; Ps.33; 2Tim.4:6-8.16-18; Lk.18:9-14.

In the first reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus, we are presented with the type of judgment that God delivers for his people. The foundation of God's judgment is not on personalities. In comparison human judgment tends to emphasise distinction between the poor and the rich and the latter are likely to be treated with favour; they buy justice. God knows the needs of each person and for that matter his judgment is meant to address the suffering of the disadvantaged party. Because God is virtuous, his judgment is just for all; in fact he makes an option for the less privileged – Joel 2:26.

Ex.17:8-13; Ps.121; 2Tim.3:14-4:2; Lk.18:1-8.

I promise you, God will see justice done to you and done speedily! This theme requires that we understand God’s promise of justice according to His Time and Will. Three kinds of literature will help us to widen our knowledge of God and to grow in our faith; the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) and the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church. Often times when people feel that they have prayed much but do not see positive results from their efforts to pray, they tend to give up or even worse still, they may abandon God completely. What should guide us though is the fact that God is faithful to his promises and so however long they may seem to delay; he will fulfill them – Ps.84:10. 

Theme: Stand in prayer and the Lord will bless you

We are what we think. A glance at today’s scripture, both Moses and the widow provide us with vivid illustrations of the quality of prayer which believers are to cultivate. From Second Timothy, there is another theme at work: “all Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, correction and training in holiness”. In the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, Vatican II agreed that the books of Scripture are inspired and normative in that they teach firmly, faithfully and without error that truth which God communicated through the Sacred Word for the sake of our salvation.

Theme: Faith is able to cleanse us

To prevent prejudice, people who use politically correct language have attempted to eradicate potentially offensive terms, with mixed results regarding the value and application of these terms. With a little imagination, we can even envisage some of these notions of political correctness into the ancient Middle East world to see how the persons featured in today’s readings might have been regarded. Most of the peoples of Israel and Judah would have regarded Naaman, who was a Syrian, as outside the pale of God’s concern. Not only was he a foreigner; he also suffered from leprosy.

2Kgs.5:14-17; Ps.97; 2Tim.2:8-13; Lk.17:11-19.

‘The Lord has made known his salvation.’  This theme of today comes from the responsorial Psalm. Each particular Church is the primary community of the Church’s mission. It must animate and lead a renewed pastoral activity able to integrate the variety of charisms, ministries, states of life and resources. All these realities must be coordinated within an organic missionary project, capable of communicating the fullness of Christian life to everyone, especially to those who feel themselves far from the Church’s care. Such an endeavour must arise from the dialogue and cooperation of all diocesan components, including: parishes, small Christian communities and educational communities, communities of consecrated life, associations, movements and each individual faithful.

Theme: Have faith!

There comes a time in everyone’s life when one plays a game of cards against faith. It is the oldest of all games: You and Faith sit across the green table of Earth facing one another. The rule is that you go first. You sit and stare across the table at the backs of her cards. But you have a strong hand; you hold the uncertain cruelties of nature, the sinfulness of humankind, the sad facts of addiction, insanity and disease and the misery of the unemployed. As you play card after card, hoping to weaken and eventually breach her defenses, faith, nevertheless remains unperturbed. Faith holds in her hand certain cards you will never beat. She is a seasoned and skillful player.

Theme: Wealth, an opportunity for justice

What is the meaning of running after wealth for the majority of people in the world today? We may assume that people’s reasons for seeking wealth are universal, yet it turns out that there are some regional variations regarding wealth and the freedom it enables. Some of the wealthy people concur that their monetary status allows them to buy the best products and that wealth is a deserved reward for hard work. With wealth, some are able to earn respect, to be charitable, to be happy and to walk on the road to success. With these findings in mind, we turn to the ancient Near Eastern world, the home of Amos, Jesus and St Paul in his 1st letter to Timothy. In that world, where wealth was defined in terms of fine clothing, property and gold or silver, there was a sharp divide between rich and poor. While the rich were seen as being blessed with the reward of wealth for their uprightness, the poor were thought to be deserving of their lot.

Too often, the rich and even the not-so-rich are too attentive to their possessions to hear, to care and to act. Therefore, it is good for us to be here once again in the company of the sacred texts, whose living words will ask of us, “Will you be stewards of your own wealth, or stewards of one another? Will wealth be the source of blessing for both givers and receivers, or will wealth and our use of this world’s possessions deafen us to the needs of others? If our wealth is our greatest treasure here and now, it may also be our deepest regret for all of eternity. These words may appear harsh, but they are not unique.

 

Amos 8:4-7; Ps.112; 1Tim.2:1-8; Lk.16:1-13.

Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great – Lk.16:10. The liturgy of today upholds trustworthiness as opposed to the vice of dishonesty. Realities in the world can compromise a person’s worth and so trample down what is truly valuable and personal; yet these material things are little, temporal, optional, and tainted. Heavenly virtues are genuine, truly ours, and lead us to eternity – 1Thess.4:9–12.

Theme: Who Can Be Forgiven?

Is there forgiveness for Adolf Hitler, who led the Nazi regime in the systematic extermination of millions of innocent people? Is there forgiveness for the butchering that took place between the Tutsi and the Hutu in Rwanda a few years ago? Is there forgiveness for those who operated the killing fields of Luwero in Uganda, where regime after regime piled the thousands of bodies of those suspected of being his enemies? Is there any chance of forgiving Saddam Hussein, who ordered the torture and slaughter of untold numbers of men, women and children? Is there forgiveness for those who looked away and did nothing to help all the victims of injustice, violence and hatred?

Theme: The truth in the cost of discipleship

The cost of discipleship is set of truth before us as the praying assembly every time we gather around the word of God. This truth, told through many generations and in various accents, has been shaped and colored by a multiplicity of different experiences and motivations. Because the truth is often hard to hear, quite difficult to assimilate and challenging to translate into words and deeds, it is sometimes rejected, is regularly ignored and even more frequently is relegated to a sort of waiting room of our lives until such time as that truth might become more convenient or less disturbing.

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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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