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Apr 13, 2017 Written by 

Easter Sunday Be the first to comment!

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Theme: It is the good news today

We have journeyed with Jesus Christ since Ash Wednesday, climax on Palm Sunday, setting stage for action on Holy Thursday, the challenge of Good Friday and the JOY of Easter Sunday.

What could be your version of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth? Biblical history narrates to us that after the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary and his hasty burial, members of the Sanhedrin received shocking news informing them that the itinerant teacher and healer was alive after his followers confirmed that his tomb had been found empty. Others people were spreading the news that they had experienced his risen presence. At that, the Jewish official moaned softly and sighed almost inaudibly. And so indeed it was; 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, humanity was offered a new perspective. Jesus’ cross and resurrection changed forever the way we look at death; at life, at this world and at one another. The reality of Easter is that God is not simply up above or the totally other transcendent one. He has come to us, in the flesh and blood of human existence and therein has transformed who we are. In Jesus, love is not confined by the limitations of time and death. Parents do not tell their children, we shall love you for 10, 15 or 20 years. Children do not say, ‘I shall forget you when you die’. Lovers do not say, I will love you for five years. Genuine love is committed and committing to the language of ‘forever’. In the risen Lord, we find a new hope and meaning with which to view our human existence. With every Easter celebration we are privileged to affirm again ‘life begins when it seems to end’

First reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43

When Luke wrote Acts of Apostles in the mid to late 80s AD., the key protagonists of his reflection, Peter and Paul, had already died. But Luke chose not to mention the end of these two heroes of the early Church. Instead he left his audience with the impression that the ministries of Peter and Paul were still intact and that the Apostles continued to speak to the Church through the discourses attributed to them. Calling Luke the first ‘historian’ of the Church, Josephus has suggested that Luke’s literary style aligned him with historians like Flavius and Tacitus, who wrote within a tradition of history established by Herodotus and 5 centuries before. Like them, Luke presented ‘an orderly account’ of the events pertinent to the early Church, but whereas the pattern they sought to establish arose out of the interplay of the human decisions of great people with a rather vague ‘fate’, Luke offers an insight into the God’s plan who offers true salvation to all people. Luke confirms that Jesus’ death was in accord with God’s foreordained plan, and that he was raised from death as foretold in scripture, and that witnesses saw him in his risen state.

In Acts it is Paul who presents the WORD as intended for a gentile audience, while Peter’s is geared toward Jewish listeners. In today’s first reading, however, Peter is portrayed in the uncharacteristic posture of preaching to gentiles. Luke’s intention is clear: Peter, as the recognized head of the Church is giving his approval to the gentile mission and all its consequences. For Luke both Jews and Gentiles are united by faith in Christ and can no longer be separated by ethnic differences or rules of clean/unclean. Moreover, Peter’s message represents the fulfillment of the mandate Jesus had issued at the end of the Luke’s gospel, which is: that the good news of forgiveness and salvation should be preached in his name “to all nations” Luke 24:47. Let is be said that in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and other Jewish Christians began to realize the challenge of embracing a more universal perspective regarding salvation, meaning: that “everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his name” Acts 10:43. This challenge was preferred within the context of the conversion of the gentile soldier by names of Cornelius/Col. and of his whole household. Given extensive coverage by Luke, the Cornelius event was landmark decision for the early Christian Community and a model for all embracing evangelization. The universal implication of Jesus’ resurrection is a sign that all flesh has been loved and transformed by God’s love. What matters in life is genuine love, not who we are.

Second reading: Colossians 3:1-4

Due to the advances in medical science, particularly in the latter half of the twentieth century, a phenomenon known as the ‘near death experience’ has become almost commonplace. Victims of heart attacks or other serious physical trauma, who would otherwise have died, can now be resuscitated and go on to live normal lives. Many, who have survived such an encounter with death, have said that their lives were radically altered by the experience. Values and priorities were adjusted. People and relationships became more important than things. The details of life which had previously received so much effort and attention faded into insignificance in order that the truly essential aspects of human existence could be better attended. In a sense St. Paul while writing to Colossians would be giving similar consideration to their life in Christ. Through baptism, all of us have died with Christ and risen with him to a new life of grace and glory. This experience of dying and rising should radically alter the values, priorities and subsequent life-style in each one of us, such that our hearts are set “on what pertains to higher realms, and on things above rather that on things of earth” Colossians 3:1,2.

Unfortunately, the Colossian recipients of this letter were being pulled in other directions. Epaphras had founded the Church at Colossae as well as Laodicea and Hierapolis. Paul also had ties to the city, through his relationships with Philemon, Onesimus, Apphia and Archippus. When there was need of clarity, Epaphras asked Paul for support. Even if Paul had these strong connections, still, false preachers plagued Colossae, attacking both the supremacy of Christ and his true humanity while offering in its place a combination of pagan astrology and a peculiar form of Jewish mysticism. Lest they be swayed by these errors, St. Paul the reminded Colossians that their baptismal commitment to Christ required that they be renewed daily in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Only the resurrection of Christ can offer a sustainable conviction why we should keep believing.

Gospel: John 20:1-9

One of the key doctrines of the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus is also one of its greatest mysteries. Fortunately, St John the evangelist has offered us a guide to help us make our way through his gospel toward a better understanding of this mystery. The beloved disciple was not just a historic person but a symbol of the true disciple who remained close to Jesus and was the first to believe in his resurrection. He is John, son of Zebedee. An able guide; well known in royal circle of Jerusalem. cf. John 18:16, the beloved disciple was nearest to Jesus at the Last Supper; he remained at Jesus’ cross with Mary and was entrusted by Jesus with her care. He was with Simon Peter when Mary of Magdala brought news of the empty tomb. First to arrive at Jesus tomb, he saw and understood what Mary had not. While she thought that Jesus’ body had been taken, the beloved disciple realized, by the orderly arrangement of the burial cloths, that Jesus’ body had not been stolen but that he was indeed risen. He believed. It is as if his faith is less the result of human effort and understanding than the effect of Christ’ love within the disciple. Later, while fishing with Peter, the beloved disciple would recognize his resurrected Lord standing on the shore and point him out to Peter.

In concluding his gospel, St John the evangelist identified the disciple Jesus loved as the authoritative source of his work. Like the angel interpreters in Matthew 22:5, Mark 16:5 and Luke 24:4 of the synoptic resurrection narratives, the beloved disciple helps us to sort out the mystery of Jesus’ resurrection and come to faith. The lesson for us is that love for Jesus gives one the insight to detect his presence. The Beloved Disciple, here as elsewhere the ideal follower of Jesus, sets an example for all others who would follow. As our model and Easter guide, this loved disciple calls us to consider and rejoice with him in the mystery of God’s love for us incarnate, crucified and risen. For Jesus we need to be the loved disciple. For this happen, we need to leave our tombs empty. Corruption, embossment of public funds, wild political ambitions, materialism should be no more because the tomb is empty. Addictions, false attitudes, wrong choices, attachment to evil, appetite to commit crime have to end. Let the tomb that is holding Ugandans hostage be empty.

To reinforce the reassurance of the empty tomb, I conclude with an ancient story. After committing suicide for betraying Jesus, Judas found himself in pitch-black darkness at the bottom of an endlessly deep pit. After weeping for a thousand years in sorrow for his sinful betrayal, and now empty of tears, he looked up to see a tiny speck of light way up at the top of the pit. After hundreds of years of contemplating that tiny glimmering glow, he attempted to climb up toward the light. For many more years he struggled to scale the slimy, slippery walls of that pit.

Finally, after several more lengthy attempts, he was able to crawl inch-by-inch all the way up to the rim at the top. Climbing out of the dark pit, he found to his surprise that he was in a luminously brilliant room where twelve men were seated at a long table. ‘We’ve been waiting for you, friend Judas, said Jesus, who was seated at the far end. We could not begin to eat until you have come’. This is to demonstrate how much God loves. We may not care about our life and our salvation but God in Jesus who is the source of all we are, cares that we are well and safe.

Application

Dear Ugandans and fellow people of God, this Easter Jesus waits for all of us with just as much patience and healing love. All we need is the conviction of Cornelius and his family, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ will be our support and we shall become the other disciple who witnesses and believes that Jesus is risen from the dead. Let us climb towards the light of our life. Jesus is waiting for us today. Peace be with you. I wish you a happy Easter 2017

 

397 Last modified on Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:13
Ronald Ojilong

I have so much attraction to the service of the church which i do so passionately. All my life, i have lived in the service of the Lord especially through singing in Church and this is my passion, I attribute all this to the foundation i got in my Primary school, St. Kizito Primary School which moulded me to love church service. Here, find reflections to improve your faith, I also invite you to join us at Mbuya and praise the lord. You'll love being part of our community. 

I also invite you to promote this, our Parish website that gives us global outlook to enable us reach and evangilize to millions all around the world. You may do this through promoting the site to all your friends and families online and you may also donate to this project through the office of the Parish priest to enable us upgrade and keep uptodate with the Latest technologies.

May the Good Lord keep and bless you all the days of your life.

Contact: +256776070487 / +256714070487

Email: rojilong@ourladyofafrica.org

 

Website: www.ourladyofafrica.org

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Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

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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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