Wednesday, June 23, 2010

THIRTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME: YEAR C



“If your language is of shouting then better use sign language” – Lib MSO



First Reading 1 King 19:16b, 19-21

Second Reading Gal 5:1, 13-18

Gospel Luke 9:51-62



Supposing I asked you let us go. What would be your next words to utter? “Where to?”

Last Sunday Jesus was giving a foretaste of what is to happen to him, but before he releases his bomb shell, he had first to ask them, what do people say he is, and above all who they, themselves say about him.

Jesus takes the decision and sets out. Most of us would prefer to give reasons and all sorts of rotating around in the room wasting time, looking for nothing but simply causing delays. Think of a time when your husband, wife, dad, sister, brother is the one to drive you to church on Sunday, who is always the last to come out of the house, room. This Sunday give a thought about this person who is always delaying the rest. (late comers, dragging of feet, no commitments in life).

They behave like pagans, they prefer to attend feasts rather than catechism lessons or meetings, and they are dishonest. If they are public employees they are easily bribed and so it goes, quite the opposite of “hard countenance”.

Jesus sends his disciples ahead of him (Samaria) but the inhabitants refuse to give them hospitality. James and John then ask the Master. “Lord do you want us to call down the fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them for their foolish proposal (52-56). They had to “harden their countenance” all right, but with themselves, not against the others. They remembered how Prophet Elijah had fire rain down from heaven on the wicked of his time (2Kg 1:10) and are convinced they must do the same thing to all who oppose the spreading of the gospel. Even the Baptist, after all, threatened the fire from heaven (Luke 3:9, 17).

Jesus reply is quite clear: the time for aggressiveness and fanaticism is over. The only fire that is his disciples can make use of is that of the Holy Spirit which transforms the heart of people. This is the fire that Jesus has come to bring on earth (Luke 12:49), the fire that will come down on earth on Pentecost day.

We should never let it out of our minds not reacting with a spirit of revenge, with harsh words, but always and only with love. If someone attacks you with lies, deceit and violence, you need to respond with blessings of God on the attackers. Because of their fighting attitude, the brothers James and John were nicknamed “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17). I think we still have many “sons of thunder” in our communities. Some may be convinced that good manners and good behavior will take us nowhere, and so they “thunder” mercilessly against the wicked, the evil-doers and sinners.

We cannot behave like this once we call ourselves Christians. We have to be modeled on respect and tolerance towards those who hold opinions different from ours. We should not force anybody to accept the gospel. We proclaim the message of Christ, but should let people free to welcome it or to reject it and we should remain friends of those who choose to act contrary to what they propose.

We all want to follow Jesus but there are many things which cloud our eyes. We give all sorts of reasons like saying good bye to our beloved, parents etc. If you are travelling out of the country, how many people do you see or visit? (Mt 9:9-13) attended the farewell feast of Matthew to his family and friends.

This is what he wanted to tell us: the mission entrusted to his disciples is much more important and urgent than the one entrusted to Elisha. Time is precious and no instant should be lost. It’s like a sick person who is eagerly waiting for the medicine that will cure him: he would not want the bearer to be delayed by stopping to talk to people he encounters along the way, even if they were his parents.

Don’t we in our communities, families, lose much time on idle questions and other trifling problems while the world urgently needs our proclamation?

Monday, June 21, 2010

SOME MEANS OF HEALTH



- You are unique through your inner self, God and others

- God invites you to face yourself and recognize your inner capacities and your fragmentation.

- Love and appreciate yourself even though you might be terribly wounded

- Your heart is never fully satisfied by being self absorption

- Reflect on experiences, listen to your silent steps of God, learn and desire to lead you to greater communication with God, and others.

- If you take one step towards God, he takes two steps towards you to heal you. He is compassion and love

- A surgeon can cut your body, but cannot order the wound to heal. Your readiness to cooperate with medicines accelerates the healing process

WHAT NEEDS HEALING?

· Childhood: - stressful pregnancy, painful experiences of childhood, trauma, physical and verbal abuse, violence, neglect, these wounds need healing.

· Broken heart: - love life disrupted, dreams and hopes shuttered, love betrayed, you are suffering silently.

· Guilt: - taken wrong turns, made wrong decisions, and choices, you feel guilty, regret your mistakes, and blame others and yourself.

· Loss: - loss of a loved one can be most devastating, something within you dies and you can’t or do not want to love anymore. Grief humbles you until you heal.

· Unfulfilled dreams: - many years trying to pursue a vocation, goal, and not yet reached. The dream has remained only a dream. Disillusioned, devastated you need healing and help.

Healing is a complex matter, you may meet an excellent healer, but healing has to start from within yourself. (Physical, mentally, emotionally, spiritually)

+ learn to love yourself and enjoy inner peace and calm

+ acknowledge your pain, discover the causes; and choose to integrate the fragmented pieces. It’s a choice, not a chance that determines healing.

+ forgive yourself and others. Vengeance poisons your body, mind and spirit. Forgive the perpetrators and your own self, let God work through you and for you.

Sicknesses are hurdles on your journey of life. The secret of healing is communion. God can’t be sick. He heals you. He holds your fragmented self together and heals. Illness is the result of interference with healing activity. Healing is nothing but a harmonious integration of every part of you. The secret of health is communion with the cosmic healer.



HEALING PRESENCE

When you connect to the source of all healing, you heal. The more you dispose yourself to accept his healing presence the quicker the healing. God doesn’t impose himself on you. He asks, “What can I do for you?”



See God at work in nature, the song of the bird, laughter of children, in the music you hear, carvings, paintings of artist, intelligence of scientists.



God is in the person who disagrees with you, in the so-called ugly things of life. Look for God everywhere, because he is omnipresent. He is even present in disease. You need to acknowledge his presence. When you ask him, he heals.



IMAGINATION

Imagination works in different levels. What you imagine influences you. Undisciplined and negative imagination vitiates your energy. Imagination can be a tool for healing, growth, relaxation and creative life.

Jesus can enable you to forgive others and he forgave from the the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”



HEALING IS POSSIBLE

God heals and saves. He heals in spite of physical and mental conditions. You are in constant presence in divine presence that heals. Love is not selfish. Love is the intense desire for well-being of the other person. The source of this love is God himself. This love flows in you and through you to others in order to heal, to reconcile and bring about harmony and peace.



HEALING PRESENCE

Getting into God’s way and allowing the eternal good to flow into your life. Psalm 60:1 “Be still and know the Lord”, God s as approachable as our electric supply. You only need to plug in for connection and communion. You need to choose consciously to collaborate with God.

You have self-awareness, reason and the power of choice; you can use these faculties or let them lie dormant and under-developed. You and you alone are responsible for reaching safe harbour.

Your stubborn refusal to receive healing is a disease. Your fear, anger and sadness cause diseases.



RELAX

Become aware of your body. Attend to each part of your body from your head downwards. As you travel down your whole body, notice if there is tension at any place. Make a note of it in your mind and proceed further downwards. After this scan of the whole body, come to the tensed parts of your body. Be compassionate to each such part. Make it a little tenser and then relax it. Repeat the process of tensing and relaxing until the tension disappear.



MUSIC

David played on the harp when Saul was troubled, music heals. Classic music, sit on a sofa and imagine you dancing to the tune. After a few minutes, get up and begin to sway gently to the rhythm of the soft music. Let go in a relaxed way.



FANTASY

Relax and be rejuvenated, you can use it for healing.

Beach: - sitting watching blue sky and gentle waves. Listen to the waves and gentle breeze. Think about your nagging anxiety, bundle the worries in a neat box, place it in a small boat. Let the waves take it far into the sea.



DIALOGUE

Writing, empty chair therapy, can resolve many problems. Imagine Christ seated or standing in front of you. Recall your painful experience. Narrate it and tell him your hurt feelings. Imagine him listening to you compassionately. Have an imaginary dialogue with him and request him to heal your body, mind and heart.

INNER DIALOGUE

In the depths of yourself. Two opposing sides of yourself. Struggles, repressions, conflicts, inner tensions.



WRITING A LETTER

- Pain and anger need full expression in words to let out the poison from your system.

- Recall any painful incident in your past. Take a few sheets of paper. Write a letter to your close friend or to Jesus. Narrate the whole incident, your feelings and your thoughts. Be quite open. Share all you feel. Read the letter aloud to yourself. If you want to add something more, feel free to do so. Place the letter at the foot of a crucifix. Imagine Jesus reading the reading the letter, wait in silence and listen to Jesus when you are calm and peaceful, destroy the letter.

COMPASSIONATE TOUCH

Is touch physical? It goes beyond the physical, emotional/spiritual. Children instinctively seek physical contact whenever disturbed or happy. As we grow we discover that touching embarrasses us because we start associating sexuality with it.



Your body is a biography. Your body contains your experience it has stored the past in specific places within itself. The health of your body, mind and spirit depends on you.

The name Jesus means “Yhwh heals”



Sit erect; be aware of your body. Begin from the top of your head. Feel the sensation on your forehead. Become aware of your eye brows and eyes. Slowly go down, becoming aware of each part of your body, shoulders, chest, arms, elbows hands, fingers, upper back, lower back, stomach, abdomen, thighs, knees, calves, ankles and feet. Become aware of your body as a whole. Be still in that awareness for a while.



Become aware of your breathing. Let your every exhalation be a cry for healing. Ask Jesus to heal you. Repeat this name with love and with faith in his healing power. Live in the compassionate presence of Jesus and be healed in your body, mind and spirit.

Finally thank Jesus for beginning the process of healing in you and be grateful to your body for its cooperation in the healing. Gently open your eyes.



Touch is vital to us. Hugging and a good sharing can lw away the blues. Hugging releases a hormone (oxytocin) which arouses a caring response in us. To touch is therapeutic. Hug a grief stricken person and you do not have to say a thing. You hug conveys it all. Embrace make you feel better.

- Close your eyes and think of your most peaceful and healing moments. What comes to your mind? It is either your mother’s hands on you, or the arms of your loved one around you. Recall the moment, relieve it and relish it.

FREEDOM OF CHOICE

Do you think that others make you angry or sad? You blame them for it. Blaming is an escape from taking responsibility. If you react to persons, you are acting like a robot. You have self-awareness, imagination, conscience and an independent will. They create a gap between your reaction and your response. They make you an adult.



MATURE RESPONSE

You are not a baby. People expect you to be reasonable and responsible for your life. Your words and actions show what you are.



MEDITATION

Quietening the senses helps in letting go of what disperses and divides our attention. It frees our energy and increases our openness to life itself and to the divides.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TWELFTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME: YEAR C





First Reading zach 12:10-11

Second Reading Gal 3:26-29

Luke 9:18-24



“PREJUDICE IS THE CHILD OF IGNORANCE” – Dennis Diderot



This Sunday comes as a reminder of that longing for a liberator, freedom fighter to rescue us from this whole menace of constitutional crisis. Like the Jews who found themselves under the political domination of the Romans and anxiously waiting for the messiah to free them. This is how they prayed “Lord, send the son of David to reign over Israel. Give him power and strength to overcome the powerful and unjust dominators and to free Jerusalem from the pagans. May he wipe out all evil pagans with a word of his mouth; may the pagans be crushed at his sight”. This might be somebody’s prayer somewhere, somehow. With what is happening around us, we have this whole life experience put to the test before August 4th 2010 (the referendum).

Verses 18-19 of the Gospel of Luke starts by showing Jesus in prayer. Jesus before doing anything, he had to pray first. The question Jesus puts across to his apostles is quite disturbing: “who do the crowds say I am?” For some he is John the Baptist raised from the dead, for others, Elijah and for others still, one of the great people who, according to the teachings of the rabbis, were to appear before the coming of the Messiah. All sorts of everything about something yet not exactly to the point.

Today, we also find ourselves on that road. Everybody claims to brand Jesus according to what she or he knows. This can be seen in the way people are trying to interpret the constitution. Surely who do people think they are? We want to fix things because we know that we know yet we are simply ignorant. We are having politicians who are lording over the nation, the experts who command powerful armies in their created camps, owners of immerse capital, who condition country life with their money.

Verse 20-21 has another answer: “who do you say I am” Peter speaks out as ever as a spokesman for all. “The Christ of God” Jesus does not deny it, and gives them strict orders not to say this out to anyone. Why? The reason is simple: The words of Peter are exact, but the meaning he gives to them is wrong. Jesus knows Peter and his tongue.

How many Christians are there today who behave like twelve apostles: they repeat the words of the creed without a mistake, but they harbor in their heads ideas that are anything but evangelical! How many of us are still convinced to this day that Jesus will one day overwhelm the wicked, and will punish them for all their wrongdoing, showing them who really the master of right and wrong is or how many still think that to be disciples means that one day they will be more successful than others in life!

These are false hopes, secret dreams of glory that could never become a reality. The messiah is he who is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by elders and chief priests and scribes to death, and to be raised up n the third day. There are Christians; priests who are making Christ suffer grievously during this constitutional crisis. The Church says NO! but the heretics saying YES! This is a result of photocopy catechetics. These words are very upsetting: it’s not triumph that they keep on moving on, but to humiliate, defeat the church. How can the church take such absurd course, they say? Nonsense, our God is a God of life; they (Heretics) are not authors of life. But the Jesus of Nazareth has shown that he is capable of transforming the greatest human crime into masterpiece of love.

Verses 23-24 Luke calls us to be disciples of all seasons. To follow Christ does not mean everything will be smooth. But you are called upon to renounce yourself and take up your cross and follow Him. Don’t fear or be afraid to be shy of your faith, doctrine, authority, magisterium and tradition of the Church. You are the Church. Keep the faith alive.

In today’s gospel Jesus is assuring us that this is the only way to produce fruits that will never go bad and that will last for eternity. And to convince us, he is the first to give up his life to show us the real and concrete contents of love.



“NO PHYSICIAN CAN CURE THE BLIND IN THE MIND” – Jewish Proverb

DISCERNING THE TRUTH



Many of us today tend to be intimidated by any kind of knowledge that makes scientific claims like Steadman. Synovate etc. Who dares argue with science? Who dares argue with an expert? Very few and those who do are easily dismissed as backward or ignorant.

And so inside of our lives, objectified expertise generally trumps moral insight or worse still, is simplistically identified with it. Truth is truth, science has truth, and science trumps our moral concerns (which can be made to appear parochial and fear-based in the face of scientific claims). This is the idea is prevalent that we should listen to the scientific experts when it comes to discerning the truth.

But is it really that simple? And who really are the experts? What makes one an expert? A post graduate degree? Being a mother who’s raising her family well? Being a respected teacher? Living a good life? Being steady and faithful? There are various kinds of experts.

Moreover there are also issues of personal integrity and how this relates to “expertise” what is to be said for the truth of someone who produces scientific insight but who leads an unhealthy life? Does man or woman’s personal life affect his or her research and professional expertise?

Many great thinkers, philosophers, theologians and even scientists, would say that it does. Truth can never be divorced from moral insight since truth and morality are really one at their base. Hence personal integrity or lack of it in any researcher or scholar in some way does colour his or her expertise, however imperceptible this might be on the surface. How?

Aristotle, for example, had a concept he called phronesis which taught that it is impossible to separate the teaching of truth from the practice of virtue. For Aristotle genuine knowledge, the type that ultimately makes you a better human being, could not issue forth from someone who intellectual theory and personal moral life were radically out of sync.

Albert Einstein, in effect said that it is impossible to do research that doesn’t include a lot of me-search, who we are and what perspective we have on reality will always help determine how we see the world and articulate any theory about it. And who we are and our perspective on reality is always partly shaped and deeply coloured by our own moral lives. Our moral lives deeply influence our research because they help shape our eye sight.

The medieval mystics Hugo of St. Victor, had an axiom for this. Love is the eye! For him, our eyesight is largely shaped by either the love or bitterness that is inside of us at any moment. When I look at the world with love, I see it one way; when I look at the world with bitterness, I see it another way. That is also time for every researcher. Granted mathematics is beyond emotion, but the realities to which we apply to it.

And so what is the lesson?

Our task is not to become defensive about the findings of the various professional academies, to stop studying.

First and foremost, honour the findings of genuine science and research, even if you aren’t always enthralled about their source. All truth has one author, God. God is the source of the Bible and God is also the source of science and its findings. Accept truth in all its guises, but be less intimidated by the teachings of those experts who claim scientific objectivity without acknowledging their own limits, hidden judgments, biases, particularly when their truth touches questions of health, meaning, morality and happiness.

A good research admits elements of me-search, is humble about the truth. When you are looking for stars by which to guide your life scan the heavens widely. Don’t lock-in on one narrow corner. There are many stars, each with its own particular expertise in giving off light.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ELEVENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

FIRST READING (2 Sam 12:7-10, 13)

SECOND READING (Gal 2:16, 19-21)

GOSPEL (Luke 7:36-8:3)

Quarrels and bitterness are never pleasant things to see or watch, especially those that break out during meal times in the family. When People come together, they are united to pass time in joyous company, not to take part in stormy discussions and altercations, or listen to insults and see people coming to blows.

Among the Jews, whenever they had a celebration their invitations were done quite carefully, that they don’t invite rough, rude, and disturbing visitors. Have you ever thought of why you are often invited to a celebration? It’s because you are good mannered, not quarrelsome, you know the culture and what people expect from you.

In the gospel of Luke, Jesus is sitting at the table taking his meal. He enters everybody’s house without distinction and accepts invitations from poor and rich alike, from the healthy or the sick, without bothering about the rigorous rules on purity laid down by spiritual leaders of his people. We see him in a house of a Pharisee, a high class place. Only honest and reliable people have been invited along with him. It is no place where you can expect to hear rude words or improper talk.

Why was Jesus invited? The Pharisees saw him as great Master and wanted to listen to his wise teachings. On Saturday particularly, on leaving the synagogue, all try to have as a guest the person who gives new ideas so as to have the opportunity to put questions and discuss the contents of explanation of the issues at hand. The Pharisees could have invited him to tell him not to associate with people who are ill-famed, or to get him closely to their circle. How many times have we thought that we can pocket a priest?

From nowhere a woman comes in. A woman whom everyone knew had loose morals; she is coming in to spoil the feast. She looks around, in her hand carrying a jar of perfume, goes to straight to Jesus and bends low, weeping, tears flowing down her cheeks to the feet of Jesus. This can be the best selling story in our media houses for weeks. (verse 36-39).

This woman knew Jesus very well. Jesus often accepted invitations from sinners. (7:34; 15:2). This woman in one occasion should have seen Jesus on one of these occasions. The smile and glance of a young Galilean Master must have struck this woman. What a pleasant and nice man! Jesus takes defense of those who have gone wrong in life, even to the point of stating that they were even better than those who pretended to be “just” (Matt 21:31).

As I write this homily I have a picture in mind of Koinage street which connects Holy Family Basilica. This street is a “red light” zone. Don’t ask me why its near Holy Family Basilica, may be for better evangelization to our men and women who may be Catholics, who knows. I think these forgotten people in our society need the gospel which suits them, may be!!!

Supposing a prostitute goes to talk to a priest in her attire or goes for Sunday first Mass. What will the Christians say about that priest? Can you stomach the show? Wa!wa! ohhh! Wele wele! Shalaaaalee!!! Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!! Have mercy on that priest. It’s not easy to fathom that isn’t it?

When Luke was writing this gospel, he very well knew the situation of these communities. Most of the members were women and a large number were widows, who gave all their time to serve the brethren. They have been cured of many ailments, evil spirits. As long as we do not understand that whatever good we have is a gift of God, we will ever love little.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CORPUS CHRISTI – BODY OF CHRIST – MWILI WA KRISTU


“Oh holy Banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of his passion is received, the memory of his passion is renewed, the soul is fulfilled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given us”

In your parish bulletin there is going to be this leaflet with a big title “Solemnity if Corpus Christi” some of you may be wondering what it is all about. It’s very simple: Today we are solemnizing the feast of the Most Holy Body of Christ”

Two months ago on Holy Thursday we remembered the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. But because of the rather sad atmosphere of the passion and Death of Our Lord which clouds Holy Week, the rejoicing and external manifestation of our faith in the Eucharist was suppressed. This is why to conclude the mystery feast of this season, the Church instituted this feast. Many parish communities will make processions in honour of Christ present in the forms of Bread and Wine.

The treasures of the Eucharist are summed up in five points

a) Oh holy Banquet in which Christ is received, our thoughts go back to the children of Israel. Moses was leading them from slavery to the Promised Land. While they were still in the wildness they ran short of food. And God in his providence provided them daily with manna. Our lord did refer to this incident in his teaching when he said. “It was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from Heaven…. I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry” (John 6:32-35).

Like Israelites we too find ourselves in the wilderness of this life. We have the table made for us every day. Not that of Moses but directly from heaven the bread that gives

b) Eternal life-Yes, Christ himself is the food at this daily sacred banquet.

c) The memory of this passion is renewed. When we believe in God we have reverence, of fear, of hope, of desire, of adoration. One of these expressions is offering sacrifice. Do this until the Lord comes, every time we eat the bread and drink we are proclaiming the death of our Lord. We who were not there in the cenacle at the last supper, not at the foot of the cross on Calvary, are enabled to offer anew the same Sacrifice which Christ offered alone centuries ago.

d) The soul is filled with grace

Our first parents sinned, but Christ came to restore that life, give even greater measure. He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. This is wisdom and power he chose to impart life to us through the Sacraments and in very special way in the Eucharist. “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the World” (John 6:57)

e) The pledge of Eternal glory. Practically we have no idea of what the glory in heaven is like. St. Paul says that now we see God as in a mirror, and then we shall see Him face to face as He is. Elsewhere he says “eye has not seen, nor ear heard…” We have no idea of what it is but we have assurance of its existence. We are sure it is waiting for us and we have a pledge, something with which to assert our right to the eternal glory. The Eucharist, for Christ says: “Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life and I shall raise him upon the last day John 6:54”.

The Eucharist is the seed of glory, as often as we receive it worthily we multiply the seeds of eternal glory in our ourselves.



My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, once we discover the importance of Mass even in a small way what it is as a banquet at which we receive Christ, that mass is renewal of Christ’s Passion that Eucharist that floods our souls with grace, and the Eucharist is the pledge.

The seed of eternal glory, I am sure those pews should not be empty. I am sure there would be real scramble for communion. If so many Christians miss even Sunday Mass, if so many Christians spend months, even years without receiving Holy Communion. It’s because they do not know what they are losing.



Let us pray for one another for a better understanding of the sacrament of love and greater devotion to it in our daily life.

Impact of Western Sexual Revolution on Africans

3.4 Impact of Western Sexual Revolution on Africans



During and prior to colonialism, Africa like the traditional West treasured purity in matters of sexuality. For instance, in the Tonga culture of Southern Zambia there was a taboo surrounding the sight of a woman’s thighs. It was believed that a curse fell upon he who dared to look at a thigh of unsuspecting woman. While this taboo acted as a deterrent to sexual activity, people also had to be on the guide to ensure that they didn’t take a pre-meditated glance at a thigh of a woman. Sexual purity was maintained in the process.



By and large, sex in Africa was traditionally practiced in marriage. Child bearing out of wedlock was a taboo and disgrace to affected families. Everyone needed to belong to a complete family for that is what s/he was identified with. The once popular extended family in Africa was the core from which Africa traditional society drew its values.



While colonizing could have set a tone for the infiltration of the Western sexual revolution in Africa, Christianity promoted puritanical attitude towards sexuality in Africa. But the booming of the western sexual revolution in the mid 1960s coincided with the independence of most African States from years of colonial rule. Post-colonial Africa contacts with former colonial Western masters were maintained, and Western culture, with its sexual permissiveness, made its way into post-colonial Africa, helped by advanced communication. Today, Africa is experiencing an infiltration of the Western sexual revolution.



Today one of the fastest contributing factors of the Western sexual revolution’s impact on the African sexual behavior is the phenomena of globalization. The advance in communication through mass media has likewise contributed greatly to the booming of sexual revolution in many African societies. Although much of what we watch in the national media is censored, there is much more to be desired as sexual permissiveness is evident.

Almost everywhere in Africa: kissing, love making under cover have become common sight in the media; adulterous relationships as seen in the media are taking concrete expression in the lives of Africans; sexual infidelity even among African married couples has become fashionable and a sense of triumph for both men and women in the work place; brothels, where people married and unmarried alike go to experience sexual pleasure, have emerged; and as it has been the case in the Western sexual revolution, prostitutes on the African continent, as they have become common sight have acquired the status of sexual workers etc.



As one may look at the movie industry from the 1920s to the present day, it is clear that the industry has survived not only because it has found alternative markets for the industry’ products, but also because, as compared to the wholesome films of the 1930s and those of the 1940s, the industry has increasingly incorporated sexual themes, violence, and vulgar language into their content. In matters related to sex we observe that there is frontal female nudity and open sexual coupling routinely depicted in films.



In spite of the fact that some religious ministers and politicians have publicly decried these patterns of life, their outcry from the general public is largely muted. Various industries through the mass media have pressed further, using these themes to attract audiences, transgressing traditional norms and general traditional African perspective toward sexuality.



What we should know however, is that our movie industry operates in a system of economic capitalism in which making profit is a major and highly approved goal. In doing so it has maximized its audiences in showing movies which have scenes of sex, violence and vulgarity since they are so appealing and attractive to watch. Looking at our population we discover that its majority are the youths (60%), thus a large proportion of the movie audience are particularly the youths.



Looking at our own African societies youths have fallen victims to sexual permissiveness. We vividly see such scenes as the manner of dressing that are appealing. For girls we observe a rampart dressing of miniskirts that leave no room for imagination. In addition to that some of them wear trousers known as hipsters or tight trousers exposing their hips and waists revealing their inner garments. Youths also wear top ups such as T-shirts and blouses that expose their chests and breasts.



Boys also are not left behind. Some of them wear tight vests or shirts that reveal their muscles which make them appear attractive to women. This code of dressing is sometimes practiced by some musicians who may even perform with bear chests as a way of arousing revelers more especially women.



The other thing we discover is the rampart selling of pornographic movies and magazines stimulating the young ones to engage in sexual activities. Sexual permissiveness has also led to irresponsible sexual behavior among the youths. For example we notice a fast growing number of single motherhood; cases of abortion and prostitution are increasingly on a rise; HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases continue to be reality in our society; use of contraceptive pills and other preventive measures from pregnancies such as morning pills and condoms has become rampart in our societies etc.



Lastly we cannot fail to observe how among the African youths the procreative act of sexuality has lost its value and meaning. To many of them, sex is seen as a thing which everyone should have, do or long for. We are living in a world where for everything to get its attention it has to be connected with sexual matters or sexual language. And this ideology is growing at a very fast rate. Sexuality has simply become something intended for physical pleasure, and exploitation of the other through sex for money.



Among the African youths who have become the most vulnerable to this Sexual permissiveness from Western cultures the following the realities are quite evident:



African youths have given into putting on miniskirts, tight trousers and shirts and blouses that expose their chests and breasts respectively just as they watch through the media.

Unscrupulous people have taken advantage of the crisis by selling pornographic videos that are sexually appealing to the youths[1] .

At the same time, irresponsible sexual behavior among the youths of Nairobi, Kenya, for instance, has generated single mothers and abortions. Single motherhood raises the problems as children do not find themselves in a suitable environment to develop into complete and mature and responsible human beings.

As single youths beget children, we are further left to wonder what kind of adults they will grow up to be: some may become street children while other may become criminals.

Additionally, most single mothers cannot support their families and this forces them into prostitution. As a result, the spread of sexually transmitted disease including AIDS has unimaginably hit the youths who sooner or later will have to die from it.

Just as the contraceptives pill was revolutionary for women in the West, African youths now use the contraceptives pill with much ease in order to have sex at all costs without getting pregnant.

In this culture of sexual permissiveness, abortion has been exercised in the event that contraceptives fail. Youths with unwanted pregnancies have their unborn babies killed by unscrupulous doctors

Among the African youths as well, the procreative act of sexuality has lost value and meaning. Sexuality has simply become something intended for physical pleasure, and exploitation of the other through sex for money



3.4.3 Way Forward for the African Youths



a) Need to Strengthen the Family



Sexual permissiveness in Africa has led to the disintegration of the African families. Practices such as infidelity, divorce, cohabitation and use of contraception are tearing down the African family. And certainly for children to grow into responsible youth they need the figures of both mother and father living together in a faithful marriage. “The parents are the first teachers while the home is the basic school of humanity”.[2]



In other words, the family determines what kind of society any human community would like to be. A good family is a foundation of a good society whereas a bad family is foundation of a bad society. A complete family is in a good position to offer moral, spiritual and physical support to its children who then grow up to be fulfilled youths.



When the moral, spiritual and physical support that the family is supposed to offer to its children is lacking, children easily grow into irresponsible youths. Society as such becomes irresponsible, even in the way it practices sexuality. The crime that Nairobi, Kenya, in particular is facing from unruly youths is certainly a product of offspring of incomplete or broken families.



Our effort in combating the impact of the Western sexual revolution in Africa should be geared towards strengthening or revitalizing the families within a complete and loving family, where children are better and responsibly protected from roaming on the streets, engagement in prostitution, having unwanted pregnancies, etc. According to R.N. Wachira, much of what forms and shapes the child is taught at home.



The matter of formation of the youth for the family should not be left to parents and the school alone; the church, the local government and civil society should deliberately involve themselves in formation of the youth for the family.



b) Parents’ involvement in sex education



Since one of the effects of the Western sexual revolution was the introduction of sexual education in school, there is need for parents to get involved in to what type of sexual education youths are going to receive. Most often, sex education in school has not added moral value to genital matters. Youths are thereby left to experiment on their own the marvels that genital expressions can perform.



The matter of parents’ involvement in sex education programs for the youths is an issue for proper formation of the youths in the family. Through organizations such as the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), parent can exert great influence on the kind of sex education that the youths are supposed to receive. In some cases, even better, parents have hindered governments from introducing sex education without values in schools. Value free sex education is a rival to the African family.



Once the youth of all categories are formed in the knowledge of the purpose and meaning of sexuality, they may serve as foundation for a better society in the future that values sexuality as a gift of God which should be used as its author intended: responsible procreation in a family context.



c) Returning to God



When we consider the diversity of criminal activities in Nairobi, we see a lot of robbery with violence in the city, a horde of sex workers lining up the streets, explicit sexual permissiveness, unwanted pregnancies and a lot of single mothers. The situation is seemingly hopeless, and yet it is saying something to the African society. Once more this situation points to the brokenness of the family. In order for sound and complete families to become a reality there is need for conversion, and grace can seemingly heal these challenges for the Africans, with total human cooperation. The “Holy Spirit moves freely through the ruins of our fallen humanity and we must recognize the signs of hope and the prospects rebuilding sound values.”[3]



Underlying the impact of Western sexual revolution on the African youths is an implicit lack of believe in God.[4] Humanity has gone astray by manipulating God’s creation. Sexual expression for pleasure without a desire for procreation through the use of contraceptives is but one of the ways of manipulating God’s creation. One other related sexual manipulative act is abortion since it is killing of an unborn baby.



Cessation of such acts and attitudes calls for God’s intervention through conversion so that humanity itself being God’s creation may live to respect the order of creation and nature. Such a religious conversion need not to come from African youths alone. It is one which should radically change the attitude of the source of the Western sexual revolution itself.



3.4.4 Conclusion



In this chapter, we have attempted to discuss the impact of the Western sexual revolution on Africa especially on its youths. At the root of this sexual revolution is a rejection of God, the mistaken understanding of human nature, and the separation of sexuality from procreation. The impact on African youths has been pathetic: crime, sexual immorality leading to the production of single mothers, prostitution, children on the street, the spreading of HIV/AIDS etc.



All these have been made possible because of the breakdown of the family. It is for this reason that we have suggested the reconstruction of the African family as a way out of this crisis. To this effect, it is quite important that African youths be formed to be responsible parents who will constitute sound, full and healthy families that will produce good and responsible citizens. The parents, the church and society should collaborate to realize this cause.



In order to survive, there is need for society to regulate the sexual activity. If our old African structures which were regulating sexual relations are now dying or falling apart, new and more relevant ones must be adopted. We need a system of education which is programmed and designed towards positive Christian morals, healthy practices, self-respect, faithfulness and creativity towards human dignity and God’s Love. It is not enough to put intellectual theories in front of young people in our African society; they must be initiated into life. A sound theology of sex and marriage, plus an understanding of psychology and personal development are also needed.



Sex is personal and rational; it is a craving for personal relationship. Young people need permanent relationships of their parents and the society at large, for proper mental development. All teachings and ministries to young people must revolve around the truth that the meaning of sex and sexuality is to be found in unselfish relationships, based on Christian ethics and sound moral doctrines.

[1] Global Economic and Cultural Research Project, Hekima Group, Choices of Life: The Impact of global Media on the Youth in Nairobi: The Case of the Film Industry, Nairobi, Kenya, Global Economy and Cultural Research Project – Hekima Group, 2003, p. 67

[2] R.N. Wachira, Parents and Teenagers: Bridging the Gap, p. 23

[3] P.J. Elliott, Sexual Revolution, p. 13

[4] P.J. Elliott, p. 8

FEAST OF HOLY TRINITY



1. Pentecost closes one set of feasts. Feasts which recall the sacred history, the history of salvation. We started it with advent, Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost. The stage in Pentecost crowns them. (The day when the Church was Born).

With the feast of the Holy Trinity we begin a new set of feasts. The feasts which commemorate mysteries, Faith feasts, centered around the main, basic tenets of our religion. The first of these is the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.

2. The feast of the Holy Trinity is one of thanksgiving. We are thanking God for the blessing of Christmas and Easter. We are summing up the wonder we commemorated and in our little way re-lived at Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost.

The three persons of the Blessed Trinity participate and share in all these sacred events. The Father sent his son. St. Paul simply says: “God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son”. It’s the Father who called us to the Faith. Our lord left no doubt about this; He says: “No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me” (John 6:44). And the son became man and lived among us. He gave us an abundance of His Life. I came that that they may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).



It’s Christ who returned to heaven after his resurrection and asked the Father to send us His Spirit to be our Teacher, our human Leader, our Guide and our Consoler, or Advocate. Today in our human approach to God we are thanking the Blessed Trinity for all these wonderful deeds.

3. The Feast is a family feast. The Divine family of the Blessed Trinity. We are celebrating the innocent life of God which finds its fulfillment in the relationship between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We may perhaps choose to leave this to the mystics and contemplatives. Each of us has become a member of that divine family.

In Baptism we shared divine life. By this life we are the Father’s children, we are the brothers of Christ, destined to inherit heaven with Him. “Co-heirs with Christ” to quote St. Paul, by this life we are temples of the Holy Ghost, who “bides in” us. It’s this relationship which should change our lives to model them on that of Christ, who while being man, embodied in himself all that which is divine.



The Holy Trinity is invoked in all official prayers of the Church, and in particular in the Mass. The sacraments are also given in the name of the Trinity. We have a good practice of the beginning our actions with the sign of the cross. It’s a good reminder of the life within us, the life of the Blessed Trinity.



St. Francis Xavier, “O Most holy Trinity” please God the priest’s last prayer at our death bed will be: “Go forth from this world O Christian soul in the name of God the Father… In the name of Jesus Christ, in the name of the Holy Spirit…”



Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided unity; we will give praise to him for He has shown mercy to us. Amen.

PARADOX OF LIFE



1. TODAY WE HAVE BIGGER HOUSES YET SMALLER FAMILIES MORE COVENIENCE, BUT LESS TIME.

2. WE HAVE MORE DEGREES, BUT LESS COMMON SENSE, MORE KNOWLEDGE, BUT LESS JUDGEMENT.

3. WE HAVE MORE EXPERTS, BUT MORE PROBLEMS, MORE MEDICINE, BUT LESS GOOD HEALTH.

4. WE SPEND TOO RECKLESSLY, LAUGH TOO LITTLE, DRIVE TOO FAST, GET TOO ANGRY TOO QUICKLY, STAY UP TOO LATE, READ TOO LITTLE, WATCH TV TOO MUCH AND LESS CONSIDERATION TOO OFTEN.

5. WE HAVE MULTIPLIED OUR POSSESSIONS, BUT HAVE REDUCED OUR VALUES. WE TALK TOO MUCH, LOVE TOO LITTLE AND LIE TOO OFTEN.

6. WE HAVE LEARNED HOW TO MAKE A LIVING, BUT NOT A LIFE. WE HAVE ADDED YEARS TO LIFE, BUT NOT LIFE TO YEARS.

7. WE HAVE TALLER BUILDINGS, BUT SHORTER TEMPERS, WIDE ROADS, BUT NARROW VIEW POINT.

8. WE SPEND MORE, BUT HAVE LESS. WE BUY MORE, YET ENJOY IT LESS.

9. WE HAVE BEEN ALL THE WAY TO THE MOON AND BACK BUT HAVE TROUBLE CROSSING THE ROAD TO MEET OUR NEIGHBOUR.

10. WE HAVE CONQUERED OUR OUTER SPACE, BUT NOT OUR INNER SPACE.

11. WE HAVE SPLIT AN ATOM BUT NOT OUR PREJUDICE.

12. WE WRITE MORE, LEARN LESS…PLAN MORE, BUT ACCOMPLISH LESS. WE HAVE LEARNED TO RUSH, BUT NOT TO WAIT. WE HAVE HIGHER INCOMES, BUT LOWER MORALS.

13. WE BUILD MORE COMPUTERS TO HOLD MORE INFORMATION, TO PRODUCE MORE COPIES, BUT HAVE LESS PEERSONAL COMMUNICATION. WE LONG FOR QUANTITY, BUT LESS IN QUALITY.

14. THESE ARE TIMES OF FAST FOODS AND SLOW DIGESTION, TALL MEN AND SHORT CHARACTER.

15. MORE LEISURE BUT LESS FUN. MORE KINDS OF FOOD, BUT LESS NUTRITION, LOW INCOME, BUT MORE DIVORCE, NICE HOUSES, BUT BROKEN HOMES

16. DON’T KEEP ANYTHING FOR SPECIAL OCCASION, BECAUSE EVERYDAY YOU LIVE IN THE SPECIAL OCCASION.

17. SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE, READ MORE, SIT AND ADMIRE THE VIEW WITHOUT PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR NEEDS, SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS, EAT YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD AND VISIT THE PLACES YOU LOVE.

18. LIFE IS MOMENT OF ENJOYMENT AND NOT JUST ABOUT SURVING, DRINK FORM THE FINIEST CHRYSTAL GLASS, DO NOT SAVE YOUR BEST PERFUME OR AFTER SHAVE BUT USE IT EVERYDAY.

19. REMOVE PHRASES LIKE “ONE OF THESE DAYS” “SOMEDAY” AND “NOT NOW” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY. TELL YOUR FAMILY, HOW YOU LOVE THEM, DO NOT DELAY ANYTHING THAT ADDS LAUGHTER, AND JOY TO YOUR LIFE. EVERYDAY, EVERY HOUR, EVERY MINUTE IS SPECIAL AS YOU DO NOT KNOW IF THEY WILL BE YOUR LAST.

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