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Theme: A new perspective

Several years ago, the Italian film maker, Franco Zeffirelli offered the public his cinematic version of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth. In the film, after the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary and his hasty burial, a member of the Sanhedrin was informed that certain followers of the itinerant teacher and healer were claiming that his tomb had been found empty. Others were spreading the news that they had experienced his risen presence. At that, the Jewish official moaned softly and sighed almost inaudibly, ‘. . . and so it begins’ and so indeed, the resurrection of Jesus marked the beginning of a new way of life centered in Christ Jesus, who died but now lives forever. By virtue of Jesus’ victory over sin and death, we are offered a new perspective. Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection changed forever the way we look at death; it changed the way we look at life, at this world and at one another.

Theme: Do this in memory of me

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in order to prepare ourselves to commemorate the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Day, today, we are celebrating Holy Thursday. This Feast solemnly commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. During the history of the Holy Catholic Church, this special Feast has been associated with the reconciliation of penitents, the consecration of the holy oils, the washing of the feet, the commemoration of the Blessed Eucharist and Institution of Ministerial Priesthood. Holy Thursday is the night on which our Lord Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples. What went through their mind on that night, we will never know. We can only imagine. What we do know is that Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from the world and to go to the Father.

Today is the day when despair and hope meet to decide the fate of humanity. Today we are invited to make a choice and take a stand to stay with or to move away from Jesus. The usual homilies have less to clarify since the way of the Cross is enough. I pick seven words that may provoke us to retrace where our hope has disappeared so that we may return on the right truck.

The First Word: Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do!  In these words we were all included; the indifferent, those who slapped his face, the Chief Priests hidden by the cruel Centurion’s chariot, the fearful apostles and crowds. But in the distance there is an incredible ultimate grace. We all hung the innocent instead of discerning out the Judas Iscariot who is forever our companion.

Theme: Decide now

 Luke’s account of the Passion of Jesus contains a number of emotional moments that show how what happens to Jesus forces others to make decisions. The majority of the disciples will pledge their loyalty at the Last Supper, then run away when the police converge on Jesus in the garden. Peter boasts of his steadfastness, then denies any association with Jesus when questioned. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Pilate seeks to avoid passing judgment on a man he thinks is innocent first by sending him to Herod who mocks and beats Jesus and sends him back; then by appealing to the crowd to choose him over Barabbas; finally by trying to pacify the Sanhedrin by having him flogged. Luke tries to exonerate the Romans of Jesus’ death as the early Church seeks an entry into the Mediterranean world. But in the end he can only show the pressure a cowardly Pilate was under as he gives in and hands Jesus over to be crucified, a form of capital punishment only Rome could inflict.

Theme: Letting go of the past

So frequently, our focus during this holy season of preparation for Easter gravitates toward the wrong that we have done. We review the laws of God and the Church and we realize that there have been infractions both great and small. We evaluate our relationships with God and with one another and admit that we have not been as faithful as we are called to be. We remember the goals we set for ourselves and are painfully aware that we have fallen short. We gauge the quality of our character, the depth of our spirituality and the fervor of our prayer and find that we are in great need of growth. While it may be tempting to engage in this practice of negative navel-gazing, the mercies of our God call us to cultivate a more positive attitude. Admitting guilt and accepting responsibility is a necessary first step, but to remain in the morass of hopelessness created by our own sinfulness is to waste an opportunity to draw ever more closely and fall ever more deeply in love with God. Each of the Readings for this Sunday references this process of turning a negative into a positive by surrendering a sinful past to the past.

Theme: Letting go of the past

So frequently, our focus during this holy season of preparation for Easter gravitates toward the wrong that we have done. We review the laws of God and the Church and we realize that there have been infractions both great and small. We evaluate our relationships with God and with one another and admit that we have not been as faithful as we are called to be. We remember the goals we set for ourselves and are painfully aware that we have fallen short. We gauge the quality of our character, the depth of our spirituality and the fervor of our prayer and find that we are in great need of growth. While it may be tempting to engage in this practice of negative navel-gazing, the mercies of our God call us to cultivate a more positive attitude. Admitting guilt and accepting responsibility is a necessary first step, but to remain in the morass of hopelessness created by our own sinfulness is to waste an opportunity to draw ever more closely and fall ever more deeply in love with God. Each of the Readings for this Sunday references this process of turning a negative into a positive by surrendering a sinful past to the past.

Theme: A true Conversion

At any given minute across this vast earth of ours, someone is committing a crime. Those who are apprehended must account for their actions in a court of law, judged by a jury of their peers. Usually justice is meted out fairly and the guilty reap the consequences of their actions, while the innocent are exonerated. However, there have been instances when despite the best efforts of law enforcement and the judicial system, it has been determined that a fair trial is not possible. If we apply, albeit loosely, this same legal strategy to the spiritual life and to the judgment that every sinner rightly deserves; it becomes clear that throughout salvation history that God has provided sinners with a Spiritual Jury. Called out of sin into a place of reconciliation, we should be able to make a new start instead of remaining in our guilt, sinking into despair and hopelessness. Without this burden, forgiven sinners are graced with new hope that leads to growth and wholeness.

Theme: Let God do

Have you ever had a burning bush experience? Have you ever known a moment in which you were so profoundly in touch with the presence of God that your life from then on was totally transformed by that encounter? Moses’ experience of God, as shared today in Exodus was such an encounter. There at the bush that burned but was not consumed, Moses knew the awesome presence of God and from within that ambience of fear and fascination he began to realize his true identity and his purpose in life. Burning bush experiences are fraught with absolute truth. There is no dissembling in that moment; there is only the sheer terror but also the great thrill of realizing who God is and who I am before God. This realization is followed by a further incredible awareness that despite who I am and who I am not, despite what I have done and what I have neglected to do, God chooses to be present to me, to call me, to grace me, to call and grace others through me. Paul’s burning bush experience happened on the Damascus road and the passionate faith in Jesus that took root in him that day is palpable in all his writings today. Samuel and Isaiah discovered their bushes burning in the temple. Each went forth from that experience resolute in his desire to serve God and God’s people as best he could despite the personal cost.

In his annual Lenten message, Pope Francis warned the “proud, rich, and powerful” that if they ignore the poor at their door — who represent Christ himself — they’ll end up in the solitude of hell.The pope’s annual message was an appeal for all Christians to use the 40-day season that starts Feb. 10 leading up to Easter to “overcome our existential alienation” by listening to God and practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

Theme: Changed from within

Most transformation experiences whether good and bad are an inherent aspect of the human condition. Transformations are clearly observable in nature as one season yields to another; natural processes are sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightful. When human beings participate in the process of transformation, the results can be similarly remarkable and equally ambivalent. For example the transformation of a baby to a child to an adult can be amazing to witness, but when that same human being is ravaged by a debilitating illness; one must look much deeper to find the person’s true loveliness.

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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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