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FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

“There is no limit to the power of a good woman”. R.H. Benson

2 Sam 7:1-5-8:11:16. David wants to build a house for God. But instead God promises to build an everlasting dynasty for him.

Rom 16:25-27. God’s plan of salvation for Jews and gentiles has to fulfillment in Christ

Luke 1:26-38. God’s promise to David was fulfilled in Jesus.

· When the birth of a child nears, the whole attention is given to the mother.
· The focus is on Mary, the will of the Father to be done and will have to help us.
· Today many people- feel happy to do things that they think or matter
- No commitments
- No answer to the questions asked
- No one whose needs tie you down
Mary did say – sorry, but I have my own plans- I want to do my own things.
- It is not what I want, but what God wants is what matters
- Life imposes a lot of duties on us
- We may never see the fullness and meaning of what we do. (Boy with old woman) completely hidden from…

PERSONAL LETTER TO MR. KWAMCHETSI

OPEN LETTER TO MR. KWACHETSI MAKOKHA
17th /12/2011
Dear Mr. Kwamchetsi,

Greetings and warm regards for the season. I am an ardent reader of your articles but this one entitled “Open letter to New ICC Chief Prosecutor” Ms fatou Bensouda left me with some disturbing questions and I said I should write a few lines to you as a sign of food for thought.
I am a student at the Catholic University doing my mastery in Pastoral Theology and also a pastoral agent in qualitative Evangelization in AMECEA region.
Your letter to the ICC Prosecutor sounded to me as personal, of course a letter has a personal idea, tone and it is sometimes rouses different emotions, thoughts, desires depending on who is writing and to whom it is written to. You expressed your your free hand of writing or can we say tying the thoughts which you shared with us in this Saturday's Daily Nation dated 17/12/2011.
Some points I would like we reflect together and I do believe in the whole big picture of reality. Sometimes yo…

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT – B

Readings: Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11; Psalm: Luke 1:46-50, 53-54; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

“Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends upon the tides of the mind” – Alice Meynell

THEME OF THE READINGS

Rejoice because the Lord is near: the theme permeates the entire liturgy of this Sunday. It is not a question of a superficial happiness or a passing excitement “because Christmas is coming”, but of the joy of salvation (Opening Prayer). Salvation that is glad tidings for “all the people” (Luke 2:16) but especially for the poor and lowly (First Reading and Psalm). The mission of the servants of the Saviour is to prepare the way (Second Readingand Gospel).
DOCTRINAL MESSAGE-
Christian joy. A part of our tired post-Christian society (which includes, or at least deeply affects, many of us who still think of ourselves as Christians) desperately looks for happiness in all the wrong places. It tends to confuse happiness with fame, fun and pleasure; but these do not generate joy, wh…

FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

Isaiah 63:16-19; 64:2-7,
Ps. 79,
I Cor 1:3-9,
Gospel Mark 13:33-37

“When you do not know what to do- wait” (Anon)

In the calendar of the church, this is how this Sunday is announced: ‘The first Sunday of preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ’
Advent means ‘coming of the Lord’. The four weeks of advent mean a time of preparation- it is a time of holy desire, longing and expectation.
Go to the shops in Nairobi or the city around you; take a glance over newspapers. In one way or the other they are preparing men and women in for Christmas.

Whatever their faith shall we believers do less than non-believers?

How is the Church preparing for her children?

i) She places us before the first coming of Christ. Here we can see and experience the spiritual desire and longing for certain noble souls. She also introduces us into the method by which God once prepared men for the redeemer. This is why; we have passages from the OT. The prophet Isaiah is remarkable at this time…

CHRIST THE KING

Ezekiel 34:11-12. 15-17;
1 Corinthians 15:20-26. 28;
Matthew 25:31-46

DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE A KING/QUEEN?

Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. CHRIST THE KING It takes a little while to let the full meaning of these words sink in – Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King – King of the Universe!

But what a shock the very first words of our celebration! - Words which the Church places on our lips in the Entrance Antiphon: The Lamb who was slain... We may not know much what it means when we talk of a king. We have been too addicted with corrupt leaders, dictators that even mention of the word king sends chilling signals.

So, to call Jesus a King, even a Universal King, is not really a great difficulty for us. It just means that instead of ruling the constituency, he rules the whole government. No problem! And what’s more, the gospel we have just read cooperates obligingly in reinforcing this traditional idea.

Centre stage, just as one would expect, there is ‘the throne of glory’ to which…

PASTORAL REFLECTION ON THE SACRAMENT OF THE SICK

This subject of Pastoral care for the Sick was able to raise some questions and awareness zeroing in to my people called the Samia of Eastern Uganda and who also extend to Kenya near the Border of Busia (Butula, Port Victoria, Marachi) who are the sub-tribe of the big tribe called the Lughias.
It is apparent that as we enter into high technological world of IT, interest in this topic has grown considerably. Search of religion-based literature more so in this topic of sickness and healing among the Samia of Eastern Uganda and books related to this topic. A cursory review of the available abstracts shows, as one might expect, the articles in the medical literature show a preponderance of scientific studies that are usually single or double blinded, looking at a specific disease entity, such as malaria, Cholera, Ebola, meningitis etc. The religion-based literature has fewer scientific studies and more individual case studies with theological discussions. This paper may be able to arise …

30TH SUNDAY OF YEAR A - Mission Sunday

Exodus 22:20-26;
1Thessalonians 1:5-10;
Matthew 22:34-40

'I get so lonely I could die.'

These lyrics from the well known song Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley may speak to our own life experience. Indeed, there's something logical about putting loneliness and death in the same sentence.

Man is made for relationship. He is who he is because of who he loves and whom he is loved by. The philosophers would say that man in relationship is a human person; man alone (without a sense of loving or being loved) is only a human being, i.e. a human who merely exists.

Man is made for love. The guests in Heartbreak Hotel know this only too well. Without love human life loses its meaning and becomes alienation which gives birth to the words: I get so lonely, I could die.

How important then to listen carefully to Jesus' words today: You must love… .

They are framed as a command but are actually an analysis of what gives human life its fundamental significance.

A careful reading of the first t…

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Isaiah 25:6-10;
Philippians 4:12-14;
Matthew 22:1-14

Do you remember how last week God lovingly prepared a vineyard on a fertile hillside? He dug the soil, cleared it of stones, and planted choice vines … built a tower, .. and dug a press…(Isaiah). What care God took! In fact God said: What could I have done for my vineyard that I have not done?

This week God lovingly prepares a marriage feast: a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines (Isaiah). What a feast! …my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready (Matthew).

Note that: Everything is ready! The vineyard is ready for the harvest and the feast is ready for the guests - and so God sends his servants.

Incredibly the tenants of the vineyard seized the servants: thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Those who were invited to the feast ignored the servants and some even thrashed and killed them.

Last week God asked for what was rightfully his and foun…

27TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

First reading Isaiah 5:1-7;
second reading Philippians 4:6-9;
Gospel Matthew 21:33-43

A vineyard wakes to new life in Spring. Tiny buds appear on the bare branches and before long the whole vineyard is a blaze of delicate green soaking up sunlight and air. Deep in the soil the roots drink in the rain and search for the minerals needed to form the rich fruit of the harvest. The vineyard belongs to the Master. It is to his glory that it yields a bountiful harvest.

You are the vineyard. Yes, you! And me!
One day the Master will send his servants, the angels, to gather in the produce of the vineyard. That will be a day of intense joy for some and a day of shame for others.

Yes, we are the Master's vineyard. And the vine he wishes to grow in us is Christ, his Son. This is the harvest he desires to find in us on that day. To put it simply we must 'bear' Christ in ourselves; Jesus must become himself in us so that all may become one in him. What a wonderful thought!

Through Baptism Je…

TWENTY- SIX SUNDAY OF YEAR A

Ezekiel 18:25-28;
Philippians 2:1-11;
Matthew 21:28-32

Do YOU regret staying with SOMEONE in our life?

St Paul is writing to the Christian community in Philippi, a community which he himself founded. In fact, this was this first Christian community in all of Europe.
St Paul is writing from prison in constant danger of death. His tone is fatherly and pleading, serious, concerned and inspiring. He is addressing the community about something much deeper than itself; he is speaking about communion, what he calls: our life in Christ.

We can easily imagine him sitting in his prison at a rough table writing on a sheet of parchment. He has already been writing for some time and little by little he begins to be absorbed in what he is writing. Once more, in his mind's eye, he stands among his beloved brothers and sisters in far away Philippi and opens his mind and his heart to them. He speaks to them of the life and love and Spirit they have in common: their life in Christ.

Hearing his letter to…

25th Sunday Of Ordinary Times: Year A

Isaiah 55:6-9;
Philippians 1:20-24.27;
Matthew 20:1-16


Last week the Gospel laid bare for us the roots of forgiveness. We discovered that it is difficult and, most often, impossible, for us to forgive others when we haven’t yet appreciated how much we ourselves have been forgiven. This week the Gospel is about goodness, about generosity. We discover that it is difficult to be generous to others when we haven’t yet appreciated how much we ourselves have been given.

Last week, the servant who was forgiven a huge debt could not find it in himself to forgive his brother servant a small debt. Somehow he had missed the experience of being forgiven which is where we learn to forgive others.


This week the servant who was given a full day’s work and a full wage is jealous of his brother because he has missed the experience of being generously treated himself. It is from the knowledge of generosity bestowed upon us that we learn to be generous with others.

We can be like those servants who worked ha…

24th Sunday of Ordinary time

Forgiveness is divine

Forgiving those who have hurt us is not easy. The bigger the hurt the more difficult it is to forgive and for many people also the longer it takes to forgive.
Peter, it seems from his question in the Gospel today, also found it difficult to forgive. (Matt 18:21) He asked Jesus, “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?” It could give the impression that Peter was finding it difficult to forgive. (Could it have been his mother-in-law? Do you know why Peter denied Jesus three times? Because Jesus cured his mother-in-law!) Jesus said Peter is to forgive not seven times but seventy-seven times. (Matt 18:21) Jesus is saying we are not to hold any grudges. Holding grudges, being angry and resentful, storing up anger in our hearts, is very unhealthy. It can eat into a person. I read earlier this week that anger is one factor contributing to heart disease. We are to forgive seventy-seven times. We could look at it like this. Someb…

A CONSPIRACY AGAINST INTERIORITY

Our culture is a powerful narcotic, for good and for worse. But let’s begin with the good side. A narcotic soothes and protects against brute, raw pain. Our culture has got its very kind of thing, (from medicine to entertainment), to shield us from pain. That can be good, provided isn’t a false crutch.

But narcotic can be bad, especially when it becomes away of escaping from reality. Where our culture is dangerous, it can shield us from having to face deeper issues of life, faith, forgiveness, morality, and mortality. These constitute a virtual conspiracy against the interior life. How? By keeping us so entertained, so busy, so preoccupied, and so distracted that we lose all focus on the deeper things. We live in the world of instant and constant communication of mobile phones, and email, of iPods that contain whole libraries of music, of television packages that contain hundred of channels of malls and stores that open 24\7 , of restaurants and clubs that stay open all the time, of …

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME YEAR A

Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20

If your brother/sister does something wrong…

Jesus is speaking here to his disciples about correction within the community of believers. The manner of this correction is aimed at preserving communion even if, ultimately, the offender refuses correction and shows himself to be outside the communion of the Church.

It is important to note immediately that Jesus is not just giving advice. Jesus well understands that even in the Christian community there can be individuals or groups who threaten communion, and since communion is the hallmark of the Christian community it must be dealt with sensitively, justly and firmly. In any given society, group, community there are people whom we tend to brand as trouble causers, they are never settled, they hop and hop and jump here and there to “disturb the still waters”. You will meet them and they too need our attention so that they can be helped too, because we often forget them in our prayers and p…

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME YEAR A

“LOOK AT THE CROSS AND YOU WILL GET YOUR STRENGTH” – M.Rosa

In the lives of each of us there may be something painful, big or small, something that we wish to be different. In the lives of each of us there is a cross. The cross can be caused by somebody else, or we may bring a cross on ourselves due to our choices or sometimes the cross is neither the fault of others nor ourselves, but because of the accidents of life or simply because we are human and do not have the perfection of God.

1. At first we may deny that we have a cross. Perhaps we do not want to face the pain of the cross so we pretend that everything is fine, we have no cross. But one of the mysteries of life is that a grace awaits us if we carry our cross just as resurrection awaited Jesus after he died. If we deny our cross we are losing out on the grace God has planned to give us.

2. After we move beyond denying our cross and admit that we have a cross we may experience anger. We ask the question, “Why?”, “W…

18th Sunday of ordinary time- Year A

First reading: Isaiah 55:1-3;
Second reading: Romans 8:35.37-39;
Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21


“To a man with an empty stomach, food is God”. - Mohandas Gandhi

The fourteenth chapter of Matthew's gospel from which today's reading is taken is crammed full of issues, tensions and disturbing events, not to mention the overwhelming of complex human needs by which Jesus is assailed, and which, moment by moment, pile up over his head and threaten to entirely bury him.

Herod Antipas, a man enslaved by lust and human respect deals treacherously with John the Baptist and has him executed for speaking the truth. John, the precursor to the Messiah, humbly offers his life for the truth he was sent to speak. He has the truth and he knows what to do with the truth.
Would Jesus have grieved more over the heroic death of his beloved John than over the coward betrayal of Herod? His heart would have been broken for both men and deep anguish would have penetrated into his soul.

Today we would be encourag…