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Sunday reflections

Sunday reflections (278)

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

sermon

Theme: Trusting in the Lord is our success

What memories do we have when we celebrate our Independence Day? History tells us that on 9th October 1962, Uganda declare her independence from the British rule. Independence means self-rule which determines a nation’s direction, goals and priorities. With the same mindset, the reading we have today invites us to consider a similar perspective whereby we acknowledge being free citizens of a new world depending solely on God.

fisher

Theme: Those walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Apart from those who live in the polar regions of our planet, most of the peoples of this earth experience day and night on a daily basis. In addition to the routine occurrences of sunrise and sunset, there are other experiences of light and darkness which may lend themselves to a fuller understanding of today’s scripture readings. Eclipses of the sun and moon, misconstrued and feared by the people of old, sum up the experience of darkness and light into a few minutes. Before these phenomena were understood by scientists, eclipses were regarded as portents of evil, offering cosmic commentary regarding some earthly crisis; these days this is no longer the interpretation. Survivors of wars narrate the dreaded blackouts whereby every window was darkened or covered to prevent enemy from detecting a target for their attack.

Jesupic

Theme: Called, consecrated and commissioned

Recently, I was invited by friends to participate in the baptism of their newborn son. As I watched and listened, the celebrant asked the traditional questions of the baptismal rite. . . Who presents this child for baptism?. .What do you ask for your child?.. What name have you chosen for your child?...Naturally, the baby, only weeks old, was unresponsive to the questions, except for a little crying and gurgling, he was a rather passive participant at his own Baptism. His parents and God-parents responded to the celebrant’s questions for him and it appeared to be obvious to all present that these loving parents would continue to be responsive and responsible for their son until such time as he was capable of doing so for himself.

wisemen

Theme:  All nations have seen his salvation

In life never to be silent when human beings are enduring suffering and humiliation. There is so much to be done; there is so much that even one person can do. With the feast of Epiphany we are invited to be that one person who can do something, however small it may appear to dispel darkness that enshrouds others. In today’s first reading, Prophet Isaiah describes the chasing away of Israel’s night in terms of a great parade of nations coming to bask in the light of Jerusalem, made glorious and luminous by the salvific presence of God. In a similarly dramatic fashion, the Gospel of Matthew relates the story of the Magi traveling from the east, led by a star to pay homage to Jesus the light of the world. What Isaiah and Matthew envision on a grand scale, each of us is challenged to replicate on a smaller but efficient level.

Mary Jesus1

Theme: non violence, a style of politics for peace

Violence and peace are at the origin of two opposite ways to building society. The proliferation of hotbeds of violence produces most serious negative social consequences. The Holy Father sums up this situation in the expression: ‘A third world war in pieces’. Peace, by contrast, promotes social positive consequences and it allows the achievement of real progress. Therefore, we should act within what is possible, and negotiate ways of peace even where they seem tortuous and impractical. Thus, nonviolence can acquire a more comprehensive and new meaning.

Jesusstable

Theme: Today a Saviour has been born to you

Perhaps it is the traditional trappings of the season or the simplistic notion that Christmas is merely the birthday of Jesus; whatever the reason, many of us become preoccupied with the star, the shepherds and the stable as the representations of a long-ago birth. Retelling the story certainly has its merits provided that all the ramifications and dimensions of that event are also appreciated. Each Christmas, we celebrate the coming, not only of a baby Jesus born in Bethlehem, but of the risen and universal Christ. Each Christmas, we are plunged into his coming, past, present and future; in a wondrous intermingling of possession and expectation, we celebrate the abiding and saving presence of Jesus.

xmaspic16

Theme: The Word become flesh and dwelt among us

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. “He came into the world that was made through him” John 1:3. The world was not a strange place for Jesus; he was not a tourist visiting a foreign country. Even before his arrival from his heavenly home, this world had been made precisely for this moment. In fact, humanity was made in his own image. Jesus did not have to squeeze himself into a world where he did not fit; he easily slid into the space reserved for him. That is why Jesus felt so comfortable in our world. Little surprised him. Of course, as a man, Jesus was experiencing everything differently than as God.

Josephdream

Theme: God is one with us

The angel said to Joseph in a dream ‘do not be afraid’. This exhortation against fear, preserved in today’s Gospel, enabled Joseph to shake off what must have been frightening worries about Mary, about the coming child, about the need to do the right thing by his pregnant wife, as well as follow the law and keep the curious and the judgmental at bay.  The exhortations ‘do not be afraid’ occurs 80 times in the bible. Each time, the one who hears these words is assured that God is greater than any fear and that there is indeed a remedy to fear. God told Abraham to “fear not” Genesis 15:1 before making a covenant with him. Gabriel said the same to Daniel in the book of Daniel 10:12 when he was terrified by a vision.

Jesus-John

Theme: Getting beyond our illusions

What is heaven like? At one time or another, most of us have given that question some consideration. Our hopes about heaven vary depending upon our age, circumstances and life experiences. For some, heaven promises an end to pain, struggle and every human limitation. For others, heaven holds out the hope of reuniting with loved ones lost for a time but now forever near. If we were to reword this question in a manner more in keeping with the Advent season, we might ask, ‘what will it be like to meet the returning Christ?’ or ‘how will I experience the salvation he brings?’ For the contemporaries of Isaiah and James and Matthew, the question was similar but distinctly messianic in character. Most had formed an opinion about how that question should be answered. For a people whose history had been shaped by foreign oppression from Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and then Rome, messianic hopes were markedly political and the salvation to be wrought by the coming of God’s Anointed was more often than not characterized by a battle for freedom, for rights, for land, for renewed political power and economic stability.

john-baptist1

Theme: The one we expect determines our waiting

During Advent, we are to cultivate a spirituality of watchfulness. Waiting is an inevitable part of the human experience. We wait in line at the bank, at the petrol station, at the shop and in the doctor’s office. At times, such waiting tests our patience. Waiting can bring out the best or the worst in a person, depending on the object of one’s waiting. People have submitted willingly to extended periods of waiting for a football match to start between their favourite teams. At other times, waiting can be an experience fraught with anxiety. If one is expecting the results of a test, waiting can be burdensome and each moment seems longer than the last. Waiting to entertain a difficult boss or an unreasonable client for a ‘duty dinner’ can be tinged with dread.

Noahs ark

Theme: God keeps promises

Today, wherever Christians gather for worship, they will hear Matthew’s exhortation to vigilance while Isaiah predicts the end of wars. For the most part, Isaiah’s vision has remained just a ‘dream’ that seems too idealized to be enacted yet the truth is that it is we controversial human beings who seem unwilling to bring this vision to life. So many times we listen but do not follow the demands this vision entails. Era of peace is absolutely crucial to the survival of humankind, to religious faith, to a civilized sense of the human. Isaiah, along with Paul and Matthew, has set the tone for this Advent season reminding us that waiting for Jesus’ return requires more than sentimental expectation. We cannot simply hope for justice; we are to take those actions that will establish justice.

Christking

Theme: Jesus is a king of my heart

Each year as we come to the end of our Liturgical Year, the Church invites us to celebrate this great feast of Christ the King at the end of our yearly cycle of feasts and festivals that have manifested different events in the life of Jesus, Mary, and the other Saints. We are reminded that Jesus Christ is Lord and King. This Feast was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 to deter growing secularism and atheism of that generation. The Feast declares that Christ is king and thus sovereign over all persons, families, nations and the whole universe.

WAR1

Theme: The future is embraced in the present

After a stint of several years in Africa, a European missionary went on home visit and returned after a few weeks with a fine set of colorful posters that he used to illustrate his sermons. As he had hoped, the pictures proved to be a great success. Each Sunday after the liturgy, many in the congregation would linger around the posters and discuss what they had learned. One day, near the end of the liturgical year, the missionary chose to preach on the end times and the consequences, both good and bad, that would coincide with Jesus’ return as judge and Savior of all. Before the celebration of word and bread, he set up the appropriate poster at the door of the Church and then went to prepare for Mass.

Sedducees

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 four or forty years, the grief of the parent who suffers such a loss is spiritually and psychologically staggering to the extent that 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 in our rural area. He was an only child who was hit by the only car in the entire village. His family’s grief was too much to the point beyond consolation.

zacchaeus1

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.

priestcollector

Theme: What is your perspective of life?

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. So clear was his perception of the all-holy and wholly other God that his own sinfulness was revealed, and in the clarity of that moment he prayed for mercy. As always, when the sacred texts are read, we have to make choices. Will I pray in truth before God like the tax collector or will I preen before God and others and come away empty from the encounter?

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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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