Thursday

Thursday Meditations by Fr Samuel Mungai

Fr. Sammie

Fr Samuel Mungai

Advent and Christmas

 

Always TRUST in God rather than human beings

We are in advent, the season that the Church sets for us all to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Advent ushers in Christmas. Christmas we:

1. Celebrate the birth of Christ as both man and God i.e. The mystery of incarnation.

2. We appreciate the way Christ always reveals himself and is available to us as Immanuel, God with us, in all celebration of Sacraments in the church (sacrosantium concillium no.7)

3. We await in hope His second coming in glory.

This means that as we await in hope Christmas celebrations we need to put a lot of TRUST in God rather than people. In the Gospel Jesus is not interested in lip-service but life-service as he says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Mt.7:21. This means that we should be doers of the Word of God and not just hearers (Js.1:22).

Benefits of those who TRUST in God

  • God will always protect them forever as He is their eternal rock (Isa.26).

  • God will always lift them high, humbling the proud hearted (Isa.26)

  • God will grant them salvation (spiritual benefits) and prosperity (material benefits). God answers their prayers; hence they lack nothing (Ps.118)

  • They are wise and they are among those Christ terms as doers of the Word of God not just listeners “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” Mt.7:24

  • God will bless and guide their day to day plans as they have committed their plans to God “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” Prov.16:3

May we all trust in God and he will deliver us.

Have a good blessed day

Fear not, I will help you

 

 

Readings; Isa.41:13-20, Ps.145 & Mt.11:11-15

 

Whenever I drive in the city of Nairobi during peak hours and in traffic jams I feel so small inside my small car amidst big lorries and buses which keep on hooting and teasing on small car drivers intimidating them to give way. But once the traffic light turns green, I accelerate my small car so fast leaving them behind; although my car is small it has more accelerating power than big lorries.

God can make an insignificant person be greater than the world’s greatest person. The nation of Israel certainly felt so small and powerless in the midst of other nations. Israel was a small country that even Isaiah refers to her as a worm, a maggot (not used in a pejorative sense but in the sense of being small). This was especially true when Israel was taken into captivity. They were not only small and insignificant but were also slaves in a foreign land. But God always helped them and kept on elevating them shaming the mightier nations.

In the Gospel, Jesus introduces us to himself by first revealing who John the Baptist is.  According to Jesus John, stands with the greatest, yet he is the least in the kingdom of heaven.  He straddles the boundaries of the old and the new i.e. John links the Old Testament with the New, he is both in advent (hopeful waiting for the Messiah) and Christmas (joyful welcome of the messiah) and thus he became the first to suffer the violence directed at the kingdom.

Who is John?  He is a prophet like Elijah, bursting onto the wilderness horizon, and at the very last place Elijah was seen — the Jordan River.  John, like Elijah, dressed in a camel hair garment, and ate locust and wild honey. Prophet Malachi had prophesied that Elijah would return slightly before the coming of the messiah (Mal.4:5). This is affirmed by Jesus when he says, “…if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah.” (Mt.17:11) And if that is true, then Jesus must be the Messiah.

In conclusion just as God elevated the Israelites though they thought they are minor and insignificant, Jesus elevated John the Baptist to be the greatest person among all those born of women (Mt.11:11).  You are not difficult either. He will elevate us to levels that we cannot even imagine. We only need to trust and have faith in Him so that our hope is restored. Hope is important as those who have “…hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with Eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not tire” Isa.40:31. Jesus tells us not to fear for he shall always be with us till the end of time (Mt.28:20).

God bless you all   Fr. Sammie  

Obedience is a key element to Justice & Salvation

 

Readings; Jer.23:5-8, Ps.72 & Mt.1:18-25

The time I have been in this world I have realized that every human person has somebody, some organizational structures and policies that he/she obeys. There is nobody with absolute powers and authority and is not limited in one way or another, not even Kings and Presidents; they too are and should obey their land’s constitution. Obedience is thus a key element in promoting justice and bringing salvation to us.

In the first reading Jeremiah says of coming days, a shoot from David’s family shall reign, govern wisely and restore justice to all people. Wherever justice is, security is automatic, where there is security, peace is present. Hence the responsorial psalm “Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever“. This was to happen with the coming of Jesus i.e. He who will save his people from their sins (Mt.1:21).

Jesus chose to be born in a family set up and Mary and Joseph are the designated parents of Jesus. Mary was approached by the angel Gabriel and she said YES; she didn’t inform her fiancé Joseph about it but kept pondering these things in her heart (Lk.2:19) and Joseph had to discover on his own as we have heard in today’s Gospel. Joseph had to decide how to act justly in such a difficult human personal situation but God sent an angel to him in a dream with instructions to guide him on the right path that will bring justice to Mary and consequently to Jesus and the whole world. Through Joseph’s obedience salvation came to all of us and justice and peace to Mary and Jesus as Joseph:

  • Became the foster father to Jesus thus giving him the family link with David as it was prophesied.
  • Will allow and obey future messages from God through the angel, e.g. To flee to Egypt (Mt.2:13), go back to Israel (Mt.2:20)
  • Mary obeyed verbally by saying YES to the angel’s message while Joseph obeyed through an action. It is important to when faith leads us to an action.

May God bless us and enable this Christmas be a Christmas that will make us obedient and be able to:

  • Bring Justice and peace to all people and nations
  • Cover and accommodate all those people faced with rejection and shame
  • Be charitable to the less fortunate
  • Accept and find joy in our individual vocations and life situations as Joseph did.
  • Be obedient as Joseph and Mary were to the Word of God, and as Jesus was, so obedient even accepting to humble himself and became man, then die for us on the cross though he was God (Phil.2:6-11)

Have a lovely charitable Christmas. God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie  

Every person is the image of God.

Thursday after Epiphany Sunday: 8th Jan. 2015

Readings; 1 Jn.4:19-5:4, Ps. 72, Lk.4:14-22

The other day I was driving along Racecourse road at around 6:30 pm at the traffic lights in the junction near Pangani Police Station, we were stopped by traffic light and on stopping I saw a group of street children running towards my car, I hurriedly pulled up my car window in fear and thought they were coming to attack me or snatch something from my car. On their arrival I noted they had a good intention, they dusted clean my car which was so dusty and I felt so ashamed that I thought they are thieves.

Most often we treat, love and appreciate people according to their looks, what they have, their education background, their family tree/line, political background etc. This is conditional love. Genuine love should be unconditional.

Today’s teaching

1. Our love of God is expressed in our love for each other

In the first reading we are told we cannot claim to love God whom we don’t see if we don’t love that other person whom we see. On the same note we cannot claim to be servants of God whom we don’t see if we don’t serve well a person whom we see because all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26)

2. Our love of God is expressed by our obedience to His commandments

Any relationship has got in its formation and execution terms and conditions. All relationships have got laws and regulations which govern their mode, scope and means of operation and this is not an exception to the love of God. In the first reading we have heard that we love God not because we are so loving but because he loved us first and our love of him is a reciprocation of his love for us.

The second condition is that if we love God we need to obey his commandments. Obedience of God’s commandments enhances and solidifies our relationship with God

3. Only the Holy Spirit can lead us to the love of God and other people

In the Gospel we meet Jesus led by the Power of the Spirit going to a Synagogue in Nazareth to express his love and appreciation to his people. We too depend on the same Spirit to love one another and God himself.

4. True love is expressed in genuine unconditional service

As mentioned above we cannot claim to serve God if we don’t serve the people near us. Jesus while in the synagogue opened the scroll and ministered at the table of the Word. Jesus served God the Father by serving the Nazarenes. We too can only serve God by serving other people with love, mercy and appreciation. Jesus said “there is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.” Jn.15:13. This means that love is expressed in the way we serve other people.

5. This means charity begins at home

In the gospel today Jesus came to Nazareth, where he grew up. This means charity begins at home. This commandment of love should begin as near home as possible. This love should first be expressed to people we mingle with daily, our family members, schoolmates, business associates, customers, colleagues at work, a person seated next to me in a public transport, etc.

May God bless all of us with love and enable us to love one another as he loves us. Amen.

Fr. Sammie

Lent and Easter

 

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Whoever loses his life will save it

Dear Family of God,

Yesterday we began our Lenten Period. During this period we are called to fight our sin and weaknesses and build virtue.

Today’s first reading reminds us to use well our freedom to choose good; to be able to say NO to sin and say YES to good. These small choices will help us build virtue; they will increase our will power to choose life and reject death.

However, this task to choose good and rejecting evil is not an easy task. Sometimes what is sinful appears good and enjoyable. To deny ourselves such pleasures demands sacrifice. That is why Jesus tells us in the Gospel that “Whoever would save his life will lose it; and however loses his life will save it.

In this Lent we need really to have self-denial; to be ready to suffer in rejecting sin and choose good. If we take an easy way and refuse to suffer or to sacrifice we shall not be able to renew our lives and rejoice at Easter.

Therefore, right from the beginning of this Lent let us make resolutions. For example, I will stop gossiping; I will stop drinking too much; I will stop bad relationship; I will stop being lazy; I will force myself to go to Church; I will pray the Rosary every day; I will be coming home early; I will force myself to forgive etc. This is losing our life but losing it we shall save it. This is choosing life and rejecting death.

I wish you a fruitful Lent 2015.

Week 1- Lent

Meaning of ASK is Ask, Seek and Knock i.e. Pray

 

We are in period of lent and this period have pillars that guide our life during lent. The pillars are Prayer, fasting and alms giving. Today we reflect about Prayers. A prayer is a communication between God and humans. We have two main forms of prayers:

  • Meditative prayers. This form of prayer is mental and it is mainly during adoration. This we call it Lectio divina.
  • Vocal prayers. This form is what people like most, the audio prayer, most of us exercise this form of prayer as it can be done anywhere by anybody.

In the Gospel today, Jesus says “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you” Mt.7:7 Jesus was very prayerful and before he performed any task he set sometime to pray; e.g. Before calling disciples he went to the wilderness for prayers (Mt.4:1-20) before multiplying loaves (Mt.14:13-21) before calming storms in the lake (Mt.14:23) before his trials (Mt.26:36-46) When the disciples discovered and admired his prayer life they asked him to teach them how to pray (Lk.11:1) and he taught them the our Father prayer (Lk.11:2-4).

In the same aspect we meet Queen Esther in the pouring herself with her maids to God in prayer; for she has no other helper except God. After giving praise to God, she asks God to help her as an orphan and give her an eloquent speech, be saved from her enemies and turn her mourning into gladness and her affliction into well-being – a very nice prayer.

During this period let us all unite in prayer, enhance our prayer life as Jesus told His apostles: “Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:24) When we pray we feel comfortable and hence joy comes to us despite daily challenges. The letter of St. James states “You do not obtain because you do not ask” (Jas.4:2). This explains a common phenomenon among Christians that God has no dustbin for prayers. All our prayers are answered. God’s answer to our prayer is:

  • A YES, what we have prayed for corresponds with the will of God and in the right time.
  • WAIT, when we pray for what we don’t need here and now, we are to wait for God’s time that is always the best. The sons of Zebedee requested Jesus to allow them to sit beside him in heaven BUT they were to wait (Mk.10:35-45) e.g. a primary school boy praying to have a loving girlfriend, his prayer will be answered in the right time.
  • Sometimes we pray for what we don’t need and God changes our pray to what we need, St. Paul says “in the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don’t know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans” Rom.8:26 e.g. a very old woman praying to ride a tractor, God instead of giving her a tractor ride, will give strength to her feet so as she walks with ease.

Our prayers enable us to communicate with God. We can communicate well if we abide in Christ (Jn 15:5,7) and live in His presence as he is Immanuel- God with us. He does not call us to ask out of selfishness but out of love (Jas 4:3). He wants us to share every detail of our lives with Him thus share our life with Him (Phil 1:21; Gal 2:20)

Have a prayerful Lenten Season

Fr. Sammie  

Week 2 – Lent

Trusting in God is Blessedness

Dear beloved, today’s first reading and the psalm, direct us to put our trust in God rather than our fellow human beings, the gospel also shows us two aspects of bad trust, i.e. Trusting in fellow humans or trusting in properties. We may ask ourselves, how is it a blessing to trust in God.

1. Trusting in God gives us peace of mind (Phil.4:6-7). Isaiah says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” Isa.26:3. The rich man focused on his wealth so much that he never noted the poor Lazarus, when he died and was buried minus his wealth, he focused in heaven and then he could note Lazarus. Lazarus was in peace while the rich man was not in peace.

2. Trusting in God enables us enjoy being surrounded by the mercy of God,Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” Ps.32:10-11

3. When we trust in God, he satisfies our heart’s desire (Ps. 37:3-5) When we trust in people, they may fail us and get us frustrated, thus only God is faithful to meet us at our point of need (1 Cor.10:13). In the first reading, those who trust in God are like a tree planted by the water, hence lacks nothing, Lazarus who is seen to lack due to poverty, his heart’s desire was satisfied when he ate what fell from rich man’s table and his ultimate desire when he entered heaven.

4. Trusting in the Lord brings greater happiness and joy in life (Prov.16:20).Every human person knows that there is a greater power than any human being and that is God. When our heart’s desire is satisfied, curiosity met, happiness dwells in us.

5. Those who trust in the Lord will experience safety and security, they will fear nothing as God is their shepherd, (Prov. 29:25) “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trust in Him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7).

6. First reading says a person who trusts in God is ever fruitful even in times of famine (calamities, difficulties, challenges etc) Jer. 17:5-8. This means that, those who trust in the Lord will be prospered, (Prov 28:25, 26)

7. Trusting in God brings deliverance i.e. we are saved from the wicked schemes and plans of evil people (Ps 37:39-40) Even though Lazarus ate what fell from the table, he never suffered malnutrition, when dogs licked his wounds, dog’s saliva provided a healing remedy.

May God enable us to TRUST in him and we shall never regret.

God bless you. Fr. Sammie

3rd Week of Lent

How to be God’s People

Dear brethren,

Today’s reading makes me ask a question, how can you and me be children of God. We know that all the baptized are adopted children of God and since baptism cleanses us from our sins and restores us to the grace of God, thereafter when we commit sin, we walk away from God. Sins destroys our relationship with God. How can we keep our relationship with God better?

1. Listening to the voice of God and not hardening our hearts.

The Word of God, the Bible contains all God wants to communicate to us. When the Word is preached to us, it is Divine communication too. The Word of God is also inscribed in our hearts (Jer.31:33).

2. Walking always in the paths God prescribes for us.

In the 1st reading this path will lead us to prosperity. Our God is the creator and provider of everything. When we follow his ways, we lack nothing.

3.      Praying

Lent is a period of prayers, we need to turn our faces to God in prayer and not turn our back to him as Israelites did in pride as we read in the first reading.

4.      Repentance and Penance

Lent is a period of repentance & penance. 1st reading suggests that we accept corrections from God. Only the Word of God has authority to correct us from our sinful past and lead us to a righteous future.

5.      Acknowledging our sins and asking for forgiveness

When we accept correction and ask God for forgiveness we need to remain faithful to God. In the Gospel acclamation today we heard God telling us “…return to me with your whole heart for I am gracious and merciful”.

 6.      Being charitable

When we maintain our faithfulness to God, we shall be charitable like Jesus whom we see been so charitable to people who even doubt the source of his power and attribute his powers with evil, Belzebul. Lent calls us to give alms i.e. Be charitable

If we accept the above recommendations from today’s readings and put them into practice, we shall not be against God’s kingdom but we shall be gathering with Christ, hence we too shall perform miracles by the power of God as we shall be his adopted sons and daughters

 

God bless you all
Fr. Sammie

 

 

Week 4 of Lent

 

Lessons from St. Joseph

Today the word “husband” is generally understood as a man that is intimate to his wife. Originally, however, the word simply meant “master/owner/caretaker of a house,” without a direct reference to a wife. Husband was a function, more than a relationship. Joseph was the husband in the Holy Family of Nazareth. In our effort to safeguard the divinity of Christ, Joseph was not exalted more as the “father of Jesus” as we hold for Mary- The mother of Jesus. This made Joseph to be given a much lower profile than Mary. This gave us the option of sticking the titles St. Joseph the husband of Mary and St. Joseph the Worker. St. Joseph is:

A just, wise and loyal servant, whom the Lord placed at the head of the holy family. As husband of Mary he cherished her and both they remained chaste. He is respective to his wife and son and he even gave her the space to exercise her motherly care e.g. In the temple in Jerusalem, it was Mary who spoke to Jesus and not Joseph. As father of Jesus, With fatherly care he watched over him. He cared for and provided for the Holy Household. He took off his family to safety away from Herod, took them back to Nazareth when it when calm and even when Jesus got lost in the Temple, he looked for him with Mary. This shows how responsible he is. St. Joseph is an ideal husband and father. Many qualities qualify Joseph to be a role model for a Christian husband and father.

He was compassionate. Joseph is so human and mindful of others. When he suspected his wife of infidelity, he planned to divorce her quietly rather than denounce her publicly and expose her to public shame and penalty. Joseph was in deep communion with God. He always sought God’s will and guidance and even in dreams as we have seen in today’s gospel obeying God’s through a dream. He was a patient man. When he knew Mary is pregnant he was patient enough to allow God’s directions though he may have felt frustrated and betrayed. Similarly, when the boy Jesus followed his mind and stayed back in Jerusalem only to be found after three days, Joseph patiently allowed Mary do the talking.

To all of us, let us learn with Joseph and improve our good qualities and cultivate the life of virtues. May you have a blessed feast day of St. Joseph.

Fr. Sammie

 

5th week of lent

A Call for Transformation

Dear Brethren,

We are still in the period of lent, a period that is geared to enable us have change of heart and spiritual transformation abandoning our former ways and clinging to the ways of the Lord. As God has transformed Abram and even changed his name before renewing his covenant with him and telling him to honour this covenant, ” God also said to Abraham: “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages“( Gn.17:9). This is because “The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.” Ps.105:8 God remembers and honors his covenant with us but we fail him. He is always faithful but we are not.

Remember, during our baptism, God transformed us; He made us his adopted children and heirs of his kingdom by the waters of baptism. He gave us a new name just like Abraham and hence we all bear Christian names. We made a new covenant with him in our baptismal vows.

As the descendants of Abraham do we still keep this baptismal covenant which was sealed by Jesus by his own blood on the cross? Since Christ made us sharers in Abraham’s covenant, we need to remain faithful to the Word as He says in the Gospel today “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” Jn.8:51. If we keep his word, we shall have life in abundance (Jn.10:10) and even when faced with difficulties as we have seen in Jesus in today’s Gospel, God is so faithful to us as St. Paul says, “Temptation should not take hold of you, except what is human. For God is faithful and he will not permit you to be tempted beyond your ability. Instead, he will effect his Providence, even during temptation, so that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor.10:13).

What is the reward of keeping God’s covenant and His Word? The reward is that God the Father will be glorified and in such, we shall share in his glory as Jesus says, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him…and I keep his word” (Jn.8:54-55).

May we all have a transformed self as we wind up Lent.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

Holy Thursday

Readings; Ex.12:1-8,11-14, Ps.116, 1Cor.11:23-26 & Jn.13:1-15

Leading by Example

Majority of us, like giving instructions on how things should be done, and criticizing others when they try to do something. Today God himself leads by example to assist us know, love and live his will.

In the first reading, God instructions Moses on how the Israelites should observe their Passover feast. This is a very important feast for them for it marked their passing over from slavery in Egypt to the freedom of children of God in Canaan.

Second reading, shows us what we shall see in the Gospel today, that we shall no longer have Passover of a lamb (animal) but of Eucharist, the consecration of bread and wine to be Body and Blood of Christ. Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn.1:29).

Jesus took bread and broke it, gave it to them and the same with wine and told them to do that in his memory. In the Gospel today he says go and do the same to others. We need to break ourselves and feed others, i.e. be of service to them, I sacrifice myself that the other person may live, have life in abundance (Jn.10:10).

In the Gospel Jesus introduces the new Passover and leads by example of helping the other by washing the feet of his disciples. He washed their feet and not hands, feet which are always dusty and sometimes smelly. This is humility of the highest order. How many of us can humble themselves this much and wash our house helps? Serve our wife or children? Serve our students? Do a favor to our juniors with no strings attached?

The biggest Christian challenge is to imitate Christ, he says “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” Jn.13:14-15. Jesus has lead us by example, we need to do the same to everyone else in need.

May God bless us with humility that we may be ready to serve and not be served, love and not only to be loved, understand not only be understood, appreciate not always be appreciated, in short we leave the teaching of Christ when he said, do to others what you would like them do to you, (Mtt.7:12)

Fr. Sammie

 

Easter Octave

Readings; Acts.3:11-26, Ps.8 & Lk.24:35-48

 

Peace be With You

When I was young, I used to anxiously wait for my mother, father or grandmother whenever any of them is coming back from a safari for I knew they must bring me a gift. Now that i’m grown up, I too try to bring gifts to my young ones. Jesus had been with His disciples and he left them or rather they left him when he went through His passion, crucifixion and death. Now that He is risen, they expect him to bring them gifts. The gift Christ is giving them is Peace and Power.

In the first reading by Faith in Jesus’ name, they can bring healing to a crippled man and Peter tells them that it is not by their power or piety that healing came to this man but by the power of glorified Christ. Jesus as the author of life was put to death, that in his resurrection, we may have life in abundance i.e. Life in Peace and Power of God. This is the disciple’s witness.

In the first reading and the Gospel, it is evident that for us to have Peace and Power in Jesus’ name, we need to repent our sins that we may be forgiven. When we repent our sins, Christ will visit us and say to each one of us, “Peace be with you… Don’t be troubled… Touch and see it is I” one key thing is that, repentance brings forgiveness, forgiveness brings peace, with peace, we have the power and with power in Christ we shall not be afraid or troubled.

May God grant us peace that we may have life in abundance.

Fr. Sammie

 

Week 2 – Easter

The Resurrection Generation

The apostles though toughly instructed not to give witness about the resurrection of Christ as many people were believing them and ignoring the version Pharisees had that the soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus were saying “…his disciples came at night and stole him while we were asleep…” (Mt.28:13) did not stop. They were arrested and after been rescued by an Angel of God (Acts.5:17-26- yesterday’s 1st reading) they went back to the Temple and continued preaching/witnessing the same and many people believe in them. The resurrection generation is guided by only one principle “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts.5:29. They are to obey God because;

  • He is God of their ancestors so culturally accepted. This is what is touching people’s hearts for they don’t see Christianity as a new religion but advanced version of their own Jewish religion and that is why in the beginning Christianity was taught in Jewish Temples.
  • This ancestral God raised Jesus their master from the dead after they (Jews) have killed him.

This witness is a command from Jesus “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt.28:19-20. Me and you as the resurrection generation must give witness to all people about all the things God has done to and for us and God who raised Jesus from the dead will raise us too from our lowly situations.

The resurrection generation knows and must give witness to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead:

1. To grant Israel (and all people) repentance and forgiveness of their sins – 1st reading

2. To respond to the cry of the poor- Responsorial Psalm

3. Because he comes from above and thus is above all- Gospel

4. Because he is the only one who authoritatively testifies to what he has seen and heard from the Father- Gospel

5. Because he is loved by the Father so much that he has been given everything including power to resurrect- Gospel

6. So that those who will believe in him, will never die but have eternal life like him but those who will not believe in him will not see life but have the wrath of God, this is been given a choice of either life or death, blessing or curse as in Deut.30:15-20- Gospel

7. To believe in him is to without fear give witness to these things despite pressures against it and like apostles obey God rather than men– 1st reading.

Week 3 –  Easter

Divine Call brings Divine demands a Human Response

In the Gospel today, we have heard that “they shall be taught by God” Jn.6:45, how to respond when he calls them.

In the 1st reading we have seen a situation of Divine call with a positive human response after Divine instruction by the Spirit of God through his servant Philip. The Eunuch is called by God and humanly responded by reading the scroll of Isaiah, but he could not understand, so God Divinely called and directed Philip to help him. Philip responded humanly by running towards the chariot and Philip humanly asked him, do you understand what you are reading? The Eunuch humanly responded “how can I unless someone instructs me?” And he humanly responded by inviting Philip into the chariot and he sat next to him and explained the scriptures to him.

Philip helped the Eunuch to connect the Old Testament with Jesus; this is how God instructed/taught the Eunuch through Philip as we have seen in the Gospel. After this teaching, the Eunuch positively responded to God’s call by asking to be baptized. It is after this baptism that the role of Philip ends and the Eunuch is left to continue with his journey joyfully praising God as we have seen in the responsorial Psalm. He is mandated by the Holy Spirit to take the Gospel to Ethiopia.

In conclusion the Gospel message today is evident that everyone who comes to believe in Jesus must be drawn by The Father and be taught by God himself through his servants. When we are divinely called, we then receive God’s teachings i.e. go through catechetical classes and after these instructions are baptized that we become members of Christian family who believe in Jesus. When we believe in Christ, he shall give us eternal life. May God bless us all as we continue daily to answer our divine call.

 

Fr. Sammie

 

Week 4 –  Easter

My Call, my Responsibility

In the 1st reading today, we meet Paul and his companions setting on a journey from Paphos and sailed towards Perga in Pamphylia. At this point, John left them and returned to Jerusalem. This did not stop Paul and his companions from continuing with their missionary journey as they knew that God calls an individual and gives each called a personal responsibility. They continued and reached Antioch in Pisidia where on Sabbath they entered the synagogue and after a reading on law and the prophets was read. After the reading, the synagogue officials asked, “My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” Paul realizing that his call is his responsibility, got up, motioned with his hand, and said, “Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen…” Paul took them through the Old Testament salvation history to show them that the coming of Christ is to bring to fulfillment all the Law and the Prophets.

This exhortation enabled all those present to sing the goodness of the Lord forever as we have seen in our responsorial Psalm. Those called are known by Christ who called them and chose them enabling them to be responsible to their personal call as we have seen Paul doing in the 1st reading. Jesus in choosing us is connecting himself with the I AM, a name reserved for God only as seen in Ex.3:13-15. Jesus as God calls us and sends us as God called Moses and sent him and whoever God has called and sent should be received by all. Those who receive those sent by God, receive God who has sent him.

Let us pray to God today that he will enable us to hear his call, and respond well knowing very well our personal responsibility. In all the places we find ourselves we should stop to wait and see things been done, but I personally take responsibility and do what need to be done as we have seen in 1st reading, when it was open for anyone to offer the exhortation, Paul knows it need to be done and frontiers himself to do it.

Fr. Sammie

5th Week of Easter

God’s Salvation Knows no Boundary

Today’s 1st reading shows us clearly that God’s salvation is granted gratuitously to all people regardless of their tribe, race, gender, status etc. Both on earth and in heaven God knows no favorites in salvation (Acts.10:34 & Rom.2:11).  St. John saw a vision of heaven and concluded that heaven is home for all people with no favoritism, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” Rev.7:9

To be a witness of salvation we are only required to share love with all people without any boundaries, by this we keep Jesus’ new command to us that we love one another as He has loved us Jn.13:34. As we have seen in the Gospel today, our joy can only be complete if:

  1. Treat all people equally and say no to tribalism, racism, gender inequality, etc
  2. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all peoples and nations and tribes with no favoritism.
  3. Remain united with Christ by knowing his commandments and keeping them.
  4. Spread love to all people as all of us a created in the image and likeness of God, we equally share God’s love to us all.

May God bless us all and grant us complete joy in our life.

Fr. Sammie

Your Sorrow will turn into Joy

6th Week of Easter

Dear Family of God,

In his farewell speech Jesus was clear and genuine to his disciples of what they will go through before he comes back. They will meet trouble and sorrow but when he comes, their sorrow will turn into joy. This is what Paul experienced when they opposed and reviled him at Corinth.

There may be a time when it looks as if to be a Christian brings nothing but sorrow, and to be of the world brings nothing but joy. But the day will come when the roles are reversed. The world’s careless joy will turn into sorrow; and the Christian’s apparent sorrow will turn to joy. This is what Paul meant when he told the Corinthians who opposed and reviled him “Your blood be upon your heads.” When their blood is upon their heads is when things will be reversed: joy to sorrow and sorrow to joy.

The Christian must remember when his faith costs him dear, that this is not the end of things and that sorrow will give way to joy. When you are called by all sorts of bad names; when you are accused falsely simply because you are upright in your moral values or because you refuse to cooperate in evil deals; when you seem to grow poor because you use right ways in your businesses; do not be dismayed; we are serving a living God who will wipe away all tears and turn sorrow to joy.

By Fr Kiwanuka

Week 7 of Easter

Jesus’ prayer and promise

God is Good,
Today we are reflecting on the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to his disciples and a prayer he offered for us. In the first reading we meet Paul being arrested and about to be executed but as Jesus had promised; “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say” Mt.10:19, Lk.12:11-12 & Mk.13:11. Paul is inspired to take advantage of difference in belief between Pharisees and Sadducees about resurrection. This confusion helps to save his life and after it all, God appeared to him and gave him encouragement “Take courage for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem so you must bear witness also at Rome” Acts.23:11. God will fulfill this promise to Paul as he actually reached Rome and preached there. If God did this to Paul, he can do the same to you and me.
Jesus’ prayer in the gospel today is such an encouragement to all of us;
1. Jesus prays not only for his disciples but for all those who believe in him (you and me included) that all of us may be one.
2. When we become one, as Jesus and God the Father are one, our oneness is to testify about Christ who is our Lord and savior.
3. The oneness in Triune God and our oneness as Jesus prays will enable us to be perfectly one, “I am in them, and you are in me. So may they be perfected as one.” Jn.17:23. This unity/oneness will give us a chance to share in the glory of God and always be where Christ is and in this we are taking refuge in God that he may preserve us in times of trouble, danger, temptation, challenges etc as he did to Paul.
May Christ’s prayer and promise be a reality in our life
Fr. Sammie

Year I

 

Readings; Heb.3:7-14, Ps.95 & Mk.1:40-45

God’s Communication

All Christians know that Biblically God talked with Adam and Eve in the garden, he talked with Abraham and promised him a son, then land, he told Noah to build an Ark, talked with Moses in the burning bush and Mt. Sinai and in the New Testament was heard during baptism of Christ, transfiguration and the the call of Paul. In other circumstances he talked to His people through prophets and in dreams. It is very important to listen to God and not to harden our hearts, St. James says, “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only” Js.1:22. Jesus too emphasized to Martha the need to listen to God as nobody can steal it from us (Lk.10:41)

Today God talks to us through:

1. His Word, Sacred Scripture

We as Christians believe that all that is contained in the Bible is the Word of God, i.e. God’s communication to us, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that the one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work” 2 Tim.3:16-17. This makes the Word of God alive and active (Heb.4:12). The Word of God i.e. The bible being alive and active means all that is contained in the bible will be ever new to us, the bible will never expire, be outdated or need any editing.

Thus the call from today’s reading is that “if today you hear his voice harden not your hearts”

2. His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ

In the Gospel according to John, he says, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…all things were created through Him” Jn.1:1,3). Jesus is presented to us by John as the Word of God who is God and the Word through whom all there is was created as seen in the Book of Genesis, God created everything through His Word except human beings. Jesus being the Word of God, thus God’s communication comes to us through his life, works, deeds and teachings as highlighted in the Gospels. In affirmation to this the letter to the Hebrews states “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days he spoke to us through a Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the Universe” Heb.1:1-2. Jesus been both God and man communicates very important messages to us “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish…The Father and I are one” Jn.10:27-30. Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”  Jn.14:6. If we listen to him as the Word, we shall live in truth, walk in the right way and have life in abundance (Jn.10:10).

If believe Jesus is God, let us not harden our hearts but listen to him.

3. The Holy Spirit

John the Baptist baptized with water, a baptism of repentance, and he said Jesus will introduce baptism with water and the Holy Spirit, a baptism of becoming adopted children of God (Mtt.3:11, Mk.1:6-8, Lk.3:16). This means when we are baptized we receive the Holy Spirit and this deal is sealed during our confirmation as Jesus said, “The Spirit of truth…you know it because it remains in you and it will be in you” Jn.14:17 and as St. Paul said “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Cor.3:16.

God’s Spirit in us communicates to us through our conscience and this helps us to make the right decision, when in temptation, Holy Spirit warns and nudges us to do, say, see, hear, touch, taste the right thing and feel guilt when we have done wrong. It is God’s Spirit in us that inspires us to prepare and preach the Word of God making his message known to all. The same Spirit inspires all those in art industry to produce good art,  inspirational book, article, music, poems, skits, plays, dramas etc which communicates to us in an unique way a message from God.

Let us not harden our hearts that the Holy Spirit may have a room in us.

4. Our own Personal inspirations

What we feel within us highly depend on our disposition and this disposition is governed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. When God created us, “He breath to us His Spirit” Gn.2:7 and Jesus confirmed this as sighted above Jn.14:17. Therefore, the Holy Spirit inspires us in different ways hence all of us can read a given bible verse, listen to the same song, listen to the same sermon but understand it differently according to our disposition and situations in life.

These inpirations govern our actions and enable us live according to the will of God. It also enables us to encourage those loosing hope and in this they get God communicate to them through us as in today’s first reading “Take care brothers and sisters that none of you may an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still today, so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.” Heb.3:12-13.

If we don’t harden our hearts God will keep communicating with us inspiring us in a big way.

5. Prayers

Most people take prayers as our communication to God but I take prayers as both my petition to God as well as God’s communication to us through prayer. In today’s Gospel, the leper prayed to Christ, “If you wish, you can make me clean” Mk.1:40. Jesus heard him and was “moved with pity, he touched him and said to him, I do will it. Be made clean” Mk.1:41. In the leper’s prayer God communicated healing to him. When we pray in our different situations, in answer to our prayers God communicates to us the message of hope, endurance, perseverance and he tells us of his love and providence to us.

St. Paul says the Holy Spirit intercedes for us for we don’t know how to pray (Rom.8:26-27). During our fasting and prayer our hearts and minds becomes sober and clean off any sins enabling us to be more sensitive to God’s communication. The best inspiration comes to us during prayers and meditation when all distractions are faded away.

When our hearts are hardened we are not able to pray and if we manage a prayer, we lack faith, hope and trust in God, so let us not harden our hearts that the Holy Spirit may guide us as we pray.

6. The testimony of other people that we live with

In the Gospel Jesus tells the leper he has just healed not to broadcast his healing, but due to excitement he goes on telling everybody what Jesus has done for him and this enabled many people to hear God’s communication that Jesus is a healer and they came to look for him. Whenever we give testimony to other people, we enable God’s doings be heard and in that God communicates with His people through us. In the New Testament many people who promoted the spread of the Gospel even before Jesus was crucified are the people he performed miracles to. When we testify, we encourage a bother or sister who may be having a hardened heart to see God’s doings and hear his voice.

To effectively share our testimonies we need not to harden our hearts so that we people we share with may see our confidence and conviction we have in God and increase their faith.

7. Circumstances which may be positive or negative

The circumstances we often find ourselves in, gives us Divine communication and God talks to us through them. In Exodus, God used circumstances i.e. The plagues to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites, Jonah was swallowed and vomited where God wanted him preach, Job went through hardships to prove his love and faith in God, Mary had to carry pregnancy and undergo labour pains to bring forth the savior who will go through good and bad circumstances to save us.

Some people get to hear God’s communication when a burial or wedding makes them go to church and after that they become converted and change their ways, a single person may feel God’s communication while finally he/she weds. Some other people encounter Christ while in a hospital bed, in a public means of transport and somebody pops in to preach, after escaping un hurt in an accident, after been stopped from God and God provides another way out, after been betrayed/wrongly accused etc and God fights for them etc. God really communicates to us through the circumstances we face, so let us not harden our hearts.

May we not harden our hearts that we may get God’s communication directed to us in all circumstances we find ourselves into.

God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie

   

Our Priesthood as Imitation of Christ

Heb.7:25-8:6, Ps.40, Mk.3:7-12

   

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that when a person is baptized he/she is concentrated and incorporated in the priesthood of Christ and thus shares in the three offices of Christ i.e. Priestly, kingly and prophetic offices. This is what we call common priesthood which is for all the baptized (CCC nos. 784-786). Through the sacrament of Holy Orders, a candidate with a common priesthood is elevated to ministerial priesthood.

Today we shall reflect on common priesthood in relation to Jesus’ priesthood. Jesus is the best “high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens” (Heb 7:26) with a better ministry and in “a better covenant, founded on better promises” (Heb 8:6).

The Jewish people did not think of God’s work with them as completed because they didn’t recognize the priesthood of Christ as they kept waiting for the Messiah to give them the new covenant. This is evidenced by the way the Pharisees and the Herodians had been questioning Jesus’ authority and criticizing him when his disciples plucked heads of grain (Mk.2:23-28) and when he healed a man with withered hand (Mk.3:1-6). The writer to the Hebrews maintained that Jesus was the Messiah, the Fulfillment of the law, the ultimate High Priest Who made the once and for all sacrifice (Heb 7:27) and tore open the curtain separating us from God’s presence in the Holy of Holies thus granting a perfect Reconciliation between us and God (Mt 27:51).

In today’s Gospel Jesus as Priest has power of healing all those brought to him and even cleansing all those possessed by evil spirits. As King, he is commanding even the evil spirits out of people and they obey him. As Prophet he is instructing and teaching people as one with authority (Mk.1:22). Christ is leading us by example as we are responding in the Psalm see, I have come, Lord, to do your will.”

 

We Christians with common priesthood, we need to learn from Jesus and always be ready to do the will of God. We need to be active in these offices of Christ. We need to ask ourselves: can someone looking for Jesus today in our offices, places of work, businesses, homes, on the way, in a matatu, see Jesus in us? As Priests we need to always participate in every liturgical function fully, actively and consciously; As kings we need to live as children of the kingdom and with no fear of diseases or evil spirits as Christ has authority over them and as prophets we need to be readers and doers of the Word of God (Js.1:22). May we take the Word of God as food for our journey. We should realize that “absolute fullness” resides in Jesus (Col 1:19) and thus be able to proclaim to the world that Jesus has done it all and is our All in all as in Christ, we have everything we will ever need (see 2 Cor 6:10; 1 Cor 3:21). May God enable us to do his will always according to our vocations. Amen.

  God bless you all. Fr. Sammie

Tips on a Good Christian Way of Life

Readings: Heb.10:19-25, Ps.24:1-2,3-4,5-6, Mk.4:21-25

Our readings today are so practical and help us to have seven tips on how we can live our Christianity as God wants us to. When we were baptized we became children of God through adoption that Christ won for us all and through this we got Common Priesthood which enables us to share in the three offices of Christ i.e. As Prophets, Kings and Priests and we “through the blood of Jesus we have the Confidence of entrance into the Sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil that is his flesh” Heb.10:19-20. This means that by his flesh Jesus consecrated our sinful bodies and made us new and righteous. This idea gives us absolute trust since our hearts have been sprinkled clean and our bodies washed in pure water as we have heard in the first reading.

How can we maintain this purity and achieve our longing to see the face of God?

We got the answer in our today’s readings:

1. Holding unwaveringly to our confession as it gives us hope to be and remain righteous.

2. Rouse each other to love and good works.

3. We need to encourage each other in all aspects of life.

4. Take the Word of God as a lamp to our feet and light to our path. This calls us to meditate on the Word of God. We need to listen to the Word of God so as to be enlightened hence we can be able to enlighten others. Lk.6:39

5. As the light of the world and illuminated by the Word of God we need to be that lamp put on its stand and providing light to all. Remember during our baptism we were given light (candle) that we walk in the light of Christ.

6. We need to “take care of what you hear“Mk.4: All that we hear, see, taste, feel and smell enable us to form concepts which direct us to form beliefs. If we hear bad/evil things we form evil thoughts and vice versa. This means we need to live our dignity and identity without fear or shy just as the light gives light in the normal circumstances.

7. Kindness is a very important virtue to a Christian, we need to be charitable and hence in the gospel today we are encouraged to help those in need in the same measure we have received.

 

 

They were sent, and so we are.

 Heb.12:18-19,21-24, Ps.48 & Mk.6:7-13

 

In today’s Gospel we heard Jesus sending out the twelve for a mission. Today you and I are sent for a similar mission. There are some facts about missionary sending that really encourage us today as we also answer to God’s call.

1. God sends us to vulnerable places, people, situations and circumstances where he wants His mercy to be witnessed so that the people we give service to on behalf of God may respond as we expressed in the psalm today, “we have received your mercy, One Lord, in the midst of your temple” (Ps.48:10).

2. Whatever task God gives us in our mission he gives us all that we need to succeed in that mission. As we have seen he has given his disciples POWER & AUTHORITY over unclean spirits and sickness. All that we go through, we have power and authority to overcome it as the bible says “Temptation should not take hold of you, except what is human. For God is faithful and he will not permit you to be tempted beyond your ability. Instead, he will effect his Providence, even during temptation, so that you may be able to bear it.” 1Cor. 10:13.

3. Majority of us when we are sent or given a mission by our bosses at work, parents or friends, we ask for physical gifts to facilitate our movements, food, accommodations and entertainment. Jesus in this mission, he gives them no PHYSICAL gifts, “he charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff, no bread, no money in their belts, but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics” (Mk.6:8-9) BUT he gave them SPIRITUAL gifts instead; POWER & AUTHORITY. With power and authority their mission will be a success and since each laborer deserves his wage, all that they need will be provided by those they minister to (1 Tim.5:18; Lk.10:7).

4. Jesus is sending them physically poor but spiritually very rich because what they are to enable people taste is mount Zion, and as in the first reading he tells them “…you have not come to what may be touched (physical)… But you have come to mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Spiritual realm) (Heb.12:18, 22). The healing and casting out of demons done by disciples by power and authority from God is to enable people at last get to heaven- Mt. Zion, heavenly Jerusalem.

5. Rejection in one place does not call the cancellation of the mission, but if rejected move on to the next place in your list. This also means a fail in a certain business, department at work, subject in class, relationship with a person etc does not mean that we are condemned but we should move on and embrace change allowing God to take us and lead us where God wants us.

6. Jesus sends them two by two, this means that he shall be with them as he said elsewhere “where two at three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst” (Mt.18:20). This mission is communal it is for us all and that is why he didn’t send only one of them, but all of them.

7. If we cooperate with God and knowing very well that it is not our work but God’s mission so we need to act according to instructions he gives us, we are assured of success as we have seen in the Gospel today “and they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them” (Mk.6:13). This is not our victory but God’s as the mission is his, hence we should not take pride in it but in humility allow God to get all the glory and we get the sanctification that our names may be written in the book of life.

May God bless us with all we need in our mission and guide us as we labour in his vineyard.

  Fr. Sammie

Readings: Gn.2:18-25, Ps.128 & Mk.7:24-30

Unity is an essential property in marriage

 

 

Can. 1055 §1 defines marriage as covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children.

Marriage is thus divinely instituted by God during creation as we have heard in today’s readings and it is maintained or sustained by God.

According to Can. 1056, the essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility; in Christian marriage they acquire a distinctive firmness by reason of the sacrament. Unity is necessary as we have seen that God created everything and he gave all his created things to man to take care of it and this creation to provide food for man.

After creation God looked at all he created and saw it good but when he gave this world and all it contains to man, man was not happy as nothing was a suitable partner for him (Gn.2:20) this did not please God and God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him” (Gn.2:18).

The woman was to be the best suitable partner for man as they both are equal before God and are both meant to complement each other.

God induced man to sleep and removed a rib from him out of which he formed the woman. This is where the bond and unity in marriage is established. In this bond of unity we learn the following:

  1. Nobody can be able to return the rib of Adam to him.

This means that the married are strictly bound to remain together. Any marriage ratified and consummated can never be dissolved; hence unity and indissolubility of marriage are essential properties of marriage.

  1. Both man and woman are related and unified by that part of man (rib) in the woman.

Moreover, this gives all human beings natural inclination to members of the opposite sex. This is why they were both naked and never felt shame to each other for actually they are so United that they form one body or one flesh and are no longer two.

  1. Unity in marriage is so strong that material things cannot and should not replace one’s spouse.

This is why though Adam had been given everything by God, he was not happy, but when Eve was created he sang in praise, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” Gn.2:23

  1. Unity in marriage calls us all to provide what the other partner is lacking.

Hence, in marriage a man and woman are to complement each other not compete. In the Gospel, Jesus as our bridegroom is continuing to provide to his bride- the church i.e. the people of God what they are lacking; Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised those sleeping in death and cast out demons as we have seen in the Gospel today.

God bless you all

Fr. Sammie

 

Week 8 – Year I

 

The Power of God’s Word

 

Dear brethren,

In the book of Genesis chapter one, God created everything both living and non-living things by a word except the human person whom he created by his own hands. In today’s first reading Sirach tells us to call to mind the works of God which is full of the glory of God. God is so knowledgeable that nothing can be hidden from Him and needs no counsellor for He is omniscient God i.e. All Knowing. With this there is greater power in any word from God as His word has creating, healing, mending and reconciling power.

In the gospel, Jesus as he walks meets Bartimaeus a blind beggar who cried out and begged Christ to give him back his sight. People rebuked him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted even the louder. When Jesus stopped and asked the people to call him, those who were telling him to be quite, are transformed and became his encourager “Take heart, rise, he is calling you” By the word of God everybody in our life turns to be an encourager. Getting to Jesus, Jesus answers his prayer by a word, “Go your way, your faith has made you well. And he immediately received his sight” The word of God is so powerful in all situations.

God bless you and enable us to proclaim his mighty deeds.

Fr. Sammie

 

Love, the basic commandment

Readings: Tb.6:10-11;7:1,9-17;8:4-9, Ps.128 & Mk.12:28-34

 

God is Good,

In Kenya, after 2007 general elections there was post election violence and the affected people were hosted in public places like churches, stadiums etc. The most amazing thing is although those people were fighting in their villages and estates, when they moved in camps there was no fights in the camps for after suffering the same crisis they had to develop love.

Love is a great virtue, it knows no boundary and has one common universal language. The language of love is known and understood by all including animals. See how even pets appreciates the people who loves it. In today’s Gospel Christ brings another dimension and aspect of love. Jesus summarizes all the 10 commandments into only one commandment i.e. LOVE. Checking well in the list of 10 commandments the first three highlight our relationship with God and how loving we should be to God while the next seven commandments is about our relationship with each other i.e. Our love to each other.

The love of God comes first because it by loving God we can be able to love each other bearing in mind all are created in the image and likeness of God hence in loving each other we also love the element of Divinity in each person. Love is a gift from God, pray for it.

May God bless all of us and grant us the gift of love.

Fr. Sammie

St. Barnabas

 

 

Christ thy kingdom come,

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Barnabas who was born in Cyprus and given the name Joseph. He was among the first followers of Christ. As an apostle he was called Barnabas meaning, a son of encouragement. In the first reading we have heard that he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith (Acts.11:24) and as a son of encouragement he rejoiced and encouraged them all (Christians) to remain faithful to God and firm in heart (Acts.11:23). He accompanied St. Paul on his first missionary journey to Antioch a place where the followers of Christ were first called Christians and thus through him, the Lord revealed to the nations his saving power.

In the Gospel, we are advised that our righteousness should be above that of scribes and Pharisee thus we strive to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect (Mt.5:48) We can only achieve this perfection through;

1. Confession and forgiveness of our sins as John tells us “If we confess our sins, then he is faithful and just, so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we claim that we have not sinned, then we make him a liar, and his Word is not in us” 1 Jn.1:9-10

2. Forgiving each other as Christ tells us in the gospel today that whenever we go to offer sacrifice to God may we be first reconciled with each other.

3. Restoration of the grace and glory of God after been forgiven and forgiving those who wrong us. St. Paul teaches us that “For all have sinned and all are in need of the glory of God.” Rom.3:23.

4. Serving God in his people like Barnabas ministered to all and gave them encouragement in their faith.

God bless us all as we strive for holiness.

 

Jesus’ hints about prayers

In today’s readings, Jesus gives us a pattern or model of Christian prayer. Every Christian prayer should be:

  1. Meditated upon not just babbling out words for the sake of it. We need to listen to ourselves as we pray and think of the words to use so as to avoid repetition. During Mass at the prayers of the faithful, listen to those praying before you that you may not repeat what they had already prayed for. Jesus tells us that “your Father knows what we need before you ask him”
  2. Brief and to the point/theme. During Mass we have the prayers of the faithful and everyone need to pray for only one particular thing and stick to it so as not to empty others behind you to avoid theme from repeating what is already prayed for.
  3. Directed to Our Father in heaven. In our Father prayer we have the format of Christian prayer, this is:
  • Our prayers should begin with glorifying the might of God. He is in heaven and can bring down his kingdom unto us on earth.
  • All the will of God in our life even during hard times as Jesus did it practically in the garden of Gethsemane which he prayed saying: “Father, if you are willing, take this chalice away from me. Yet truly, let not my will, but yours, be done.” Lk.22:42
  • We need to offer our petitions to need, pour out our worries and concerns to him for he cares to give us our daily bread.
  • Then as we appreciate the holiness of God, note our weaknesses and unworthiness before him and ask for forgiveness from him, other people we may have wronged and  forgive ourselves too. Forgiveness is in the manner and we forgive others.
  1. Lastly we need to surrender ourselves to God and follow him as he cannot lead us into temptation and will always deliver us from evil

May we be prayerful and make our whole life a prayer that every moment of our life is a prayer

 

God bless you all

Fr. Sammie

 

Be doer not just hearer of the Word of God

Dear brethren,

Am reflecting on how so many people know me by name and even have my mobile phone contacts yet I don’t know them, I also know some other people and yet they don’t even know that I exist. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us true wisdom is not only listening on the Word of God but true wisdom is both listening the Word of God and acting on it. Bringing the Word of God in action is like building on a good foundation that even if wind or flood (challenges that humans face) hit that house, it can’t collapse. This is why St. James said James “So be doers of the Word, and not listeners only, deceiving yourselves.” Jas.1:22

The word we need to act on today is the fact that it is not enough to know Jesus and call him Lord Lord but to have a relationship with him. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, God created us not only to know him but also love him and serve him while in this world that we shall live with him forever in heaven after our earthly life.

In the 1st reading, Abram knew God, in love he listened to him and served him, he also listened to his wife Sarah and acted on her word to have sexual relationship with Hagar her maid that she may bore him a heir. He acted on this word and God blessed him with a son whom he named Ishmael, for the LORD has heard them and has answered their prayer.

God bless you all as we seek to know the will of God that we can implement it

Fr. Sammie

 

 

Faith in action, brings blessings

Christ thy kingdom come,
Abraham is taken as our father in faith for passing the test of his time. He got his son Isaac at old age as his only and beloved son, and yet God knowing all this asks him to offer him as a sacrifice (Gn.22:2) This has a triple effect, i.e.
1. All that we have comes from God and we should not deny God to access what is his. Abraham obeyed God to offer his only son as a sacrifice, this led him to receive so many blessings from God and God told him, “I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and sands of the seashore. This means that whatever little we offer to God we shall get a hundred fold of the same in return, Jesus taught, “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.” Mt.19:29
2. It was to test his faith and trust in providential God. When Isaac asked where is the sheep, Abraham told him, “God himself will provide the sheep for the burnt offering” Gn.22:8 and indeed God provided a ram (Gn.22:13). This shows the faith Abraham had when he told his servants, we are going to offer sacrifice but WE (him and Isaac) will come back to you (Gn.22:5)
This faith enabled Abraham to fully surrender himself to God as we have seen the paralytic who is brought to Christ after offering himself in faith to Christ, he receives blessings of been healed both his body and his soul plus forgiveness of his sins.
3. This is a foretaste of how the only Beloved Son of God, will carry his cross (wood) towards Calvary where he will be offered a sacrifice for the attointment of our sins just as Isaac is carrying the wood which were to be used to “burn” him as a sacrifice (Gn.22:6)
May God grant us an opportunity to offer ourselves in service to him and our neighbor. God bless you.
Fr. Sammie

Everything happens for a Divine Purpose

Christ thy kingdom come,

Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt by his brothers, actually they had intended to kill him out of jealous but God saved him for he had a PURPOSE with him in Egypt. They (brothers) disregarded him (Joseph) who will become their savior as it s said “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone (Ps.118:22, Acts.4:11 & Mt.21:42).

Joseph in humbles acceptance of all he went through and not blaming his brothers said to them “I am your brother Joseph whom you once sold into Egypt. But now DO NOT be distressed and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of SAVING LIVES that God sent me here ahead of you” Gn.45:4-5, This shows that for everyone (you and me included) Joseph was SOLD AS A SLAVE BY HIS BROTHERS but for Joseph HE WAS SENT BY GOD TO EGYPT TO SAVE LIVES. This is a very good altitude, that we go through hardships for the sake of our and others salvation. This altitude gave Joseph ability to forgive his brothers as he saw every occurrence as a DIVINE PLAN for a DIVINE PURPOSE for the better glorification of God and our sanctification.

In the Gospel, Jesus teaches the announcement of the closeness of the kingdom of God. Am sure Joseph did not only announce to his brothers that the kingdom of God is close but enabled them to foretaste it by his FORGIVENESS, FOOD PROVISION and above all his TESTIMONY that he was not sold, but sent by God to save lives.

As in the Gospel, Joseph knew he had received power, status and place in the Egyptian government gratuitously and as Jesus says he has to give his help freely as he went to Egypt with nothing and all he has is God’s blessings as Jesus is telling his disciples, trust God and go for your mission with nothing, God will provide for you.

May God bless us with understanding mind and accepting heart like that of Joseph that we may live well.

Fr. Sammie

 

Tapping Divine Power

Christ thy kingdom come,

 

Many of us say casually that wherever there is a Good Friday, there will be a Easter Monday. After any struggle or hardship, there comes the blessing and care from God. We all go through some hardship for a moment so as to be sober enough to enjoy life and have it in abundance (Jn.10:10)

In the 1st reading, God caused a miraculously burning bush so as to draw Moses to him, that when Moses is drawn near by curiosity, God may make an EVERLASTING COVENANT with Israelites through Moses. God enabled Moses to TAP his power and USE it to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt. Israelites need not to know the name of God, all they need is to TAP, USE and EXPERIENCE his power. God sent Moses with a message to Israelites that “I am (God) concerned about the way you are treated in Egypt” Ex.3: My friend do you know God is concerned about how others are mistreating you?

This is why Jesus is welcoming us in the Gospel today “Come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest” Mt.11:28, As St. Peter tell us “Cast all your worries onto Him for he cares for you” 1 Pet. 5:7 and in the book of Psalms we are assured that “Cast your cares upon the Lord, and he will nurture you. He will not allow the just to be tossed about forever.” Ps. 55:23.

Total SURRENDERING ourselves to the WILL of God, his CARE, LOVE and POWER is the only way we can TAP his Power and USE it. This is enhanced and promoted by the our RELATIONSHIP with God and with each other. Our relationship with God is highly promoted by communicating with God in PRAYER.

St. Paul teaches us that, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: Rejoice! …have no anxiety at all but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving make your requests known to God” Phil.4:4,6. Why do we live in fear and worries yet there are something’s we can’t change in our life and God knows even the stubborn issues, people and situations and commands success to us as in the 1st reading he says, “Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go unless he is forced” Let us have faith and believe and we shall be conquerors with Christ as St. Paul says, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” Phil.4:13

Let us conclude with the serenity prayer as we surrender ourselves to God’s caring heart.

God grant us serenity to accept the things we can’t change,

Courage to change what we can, and

Wisdom to know the difference. Amen

Fr. Sammie

 

To be in God’s Presence

 

Christ thy kingdom come,

We normally sing joyfully “Nimeuona mkono wa Bwana Yesu…” All peoples like to see God especially when we are in crisis we pray “Mungu njoo na usiagize.” This curiosity have made all cultures in the world have a natural phenomenon that they took and believe to represent God here on earth eg mountains, rivers, rocks, lakes etc. unlike us, Israelites had a chance to meet with God and Moses spoke with Him as we have Kearney in the 1st reading. For them to meet God at Mt. Sinai they were to fulfill 2 conditions:

  1. Sanctify themselves, i.e. Wash and make clean their hearts. This is spiritual preparation or preparation of the soul.
  1. Wash their garments- this is physical preparation or preparation of the body.

To be in the presence of God, we need to be active body and soul. Today our Mt. Sinai is the Body of Christ, the Church and as we are directed in the Vatican II we need to participate in Mass CONSCIOUSLY, ACTIVELY AND FULLY for us to be in PRESENCE OF GOD AND EXPERIENCE HIM.

In the Gospel Jesus presents His Divinity, in His coming we don’t to look for God in natural phenomena like mountains, lakes, rivers or rocks but we meet God in Christ Jesus as St. Paul tells us “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Col.1:15 This is why Christ says in the Gospel “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Let us always be in the presence of God by:

  1. Always been in the GRACE of God by been free from sin.
  2. Keeping our body holy as it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor.6:19
  3. Always receive Jesus in the Eucharist in a worthy manner as Jesus says, whoever eats my body and drinks my blood stays in me and me in him. Jn.6:56
  4. Been in God’s presence we shall be victors in all situation and we shall be a blessed people and thus all sing together Glory and praise to God forever.

God bless you all as you remain in His presence

Fr. Sammie

 

 

United in our journey to heaven

Christ thy kingdom come,

Jesus is comparing the Kingdom of heaven as a dragnet. Whenever a fisherman throws his net in the sea, he has no control of what will be trapped in this net. The net may trap good fish or very sick fish or even dead ones, it may also trap sticks or stones which may not be useful. After dragging the next to the seashore he will sit down and sort out what he wants and keep and throw away what he doesn’t want.

In this context, even though God created us and so we are very good (Gn.1:27) not all of us live to this goodness but all of us are welcome to the BODY OF CHRIST i.e. The CHURCH both good and bad, actually Christ said he came to look for the lost not the righteous (Lk.19:10) that they may believe in him and be saved (Acts.16:31, Mk.16:16 & Rom.10:9) This is why we should not judge anyone so that we too will not be judged (Lk.6:37-38) for nobody is righteous before the eyes of God except he/she is forgiven by God, we are all sinners and in need of the grace of God. (Prov.20:19 & 1 Jn.1:8)

Let us all be one as Jesus prayed, (Jn.17:21) encouraging each other to grow stronger in faith, and build up each other daily (1 Thes. 5:11, Heb.3:13) helping those who are weak  in faith among us, (1 Thes. 5:14, Rom.15:1) that we may form ONE BODY of Christ with ONE SHEPHERD Jesus Christ (Jn.10:16) and all of us be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim.2:4) Nobody is an island and thus we need each other, let us be together as we sojourn towards heaven that we shall leave together in happiness in heaven.

May God bless us all

Fr. Sammie

 

 

RECEIVING HONOUR AND GLORY FROM GOD (2Pet.1:17)

Readings;  Dn.7:9-10,13-14, Ps.97, 2 Pet.1:16-19 & Mk.9:2-10

 

Hi Friends,

Today we are celebrating the transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ. This first came to Daniel as a vision as we see in 1st reading, in the 2nd and gospel readings we have seen an account of transfiguration where, Jesus though he is God, he also received honour and glory from God the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit and as in his baptism (Mtt.3:7, Mk.1:11) he is declared the Beloved Son of God. The big question is can we receive honour and glory from God? The answer is yes. The second question is, how? The answer is, through reception of Sacraments.

1. Baptism. In baptism we join the family of God and become adopted sons and daughters of God and the same words were said of us, “this is my beloved son/daughter” This is real honour and glory from God.

2. Confirmation. In confirmation we are honour end and glorified for in our humanity, we receive the Holy Spirit and his seven gifts. Nobody deserves this hence it is an honour and in it we are glorified to Divinity of God.

3. Eucharist. Ever reflected on what is Eucharist? It is the real body and blood of Christ, the spiritual heavenly food that is eternal. When we receive this food, we receive Christ, God himself and as Christ said he is in us and we in him (Jn.6:54-56). Nobody deserves this hence it is an honour and in it we are glorified to Divinity of God.

4. Confession. We are all human beings and most often we try to maintain the image of God in us, we maintain this honour and glory from God by being free from sin. When we fall in sin, we purgate ourselves from this honour and glory by falling short of the grace of God we received in baptism. It is through the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation that we are restored to the grace of God and thus honoured and glorified by God himself.

5. Anointing of the sick. St. James says that the anointing of the sick is done by priests in the name of the Lord, (Jas.5:14) This anointing is done in the name of Jesus and in this anointing, the one anointed is restored to health, forgiven his sins, raised up in body and soul, (Jas.5:15) This is a real honour and glory.

6. Holy matrimony. This is the only sacrament that is administered by un ordained ministers as the man gives it to his wife and the woman to her husband. The bible begins with the wedding at the garden of Eden, (Gn.2:23-24) the prophets related the relationship of God and people as that of marriage, Jesus performed his first miracle in a wedding at Cana, (Jn.2:1-12) and the bible concludes with the wedding in heaven with Christ as the groom and we the bride (Rev.19:7). Wedding is such a honour and glorification from God, it is such a blessing.

7. Holy orders. In this sacrament a man is taken from among men, formed and ordained to offer sacrifices for forgiveness of his own sins and of other people, (Heb.5:1) a priest is the mediator between God and his people and he shares in the priesthood of Christ, and thus calls Christ from heaven and comes down to us in the Eucharist, nobody who deserves this opportunity hence it is purely honour and glory from God.

May we all receive this honour and glory from God the Father, through His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Fr. Sammie

 

 

HALTING THE FLOW OF RIVER JORDAN

Readings; Jos.3:7-10,11,13-17, Ps.114 & Mt.18:21-19:1

God is Good,

In normal circumstances when a big river flows down the stream, it sweeps and carries everything it is capable of which is on its course of flow.

In the 1st reading God wants to prove his presence among the Israelites by the power associated with the Ark of the Covenant and stopping the flow of river Jordan so that they may comfortably cross over it.

This halting of river Jordan means that;

1. God can provide a way even where it seems like a dead road, the end of the road.

2. God will always facilitate the crossing over of those who trust in him from one point of lower status to a higher one.

This happened as there was a relationship between God and the Israelites despite the fact Israelites most often deviated from the will and commandment of God but God been so good and merciful, he always forgave them and this kept the relationship alive.

In the Gospel today, Christ is encouraging us to forgive each other infinite number of times, so that:

1. We too can experience the mercy of God and be forgiven our sins.

2. As Jordan is stopped, we too can stop the halted and all other vices associated with lack of forgiveness like jealousy, revenge etc forgive those who wrong us and reconnect with them.

3. As the Israelites crossed over to the other side of Jordan, we too can crossover from our former sinful ways and crossover to righteousness, from vices to virtues by forgiving one another.

May God grant us the gift of forgiveness. Amen

Fr. Sammie

 

 DOING THE WILL OF GOD

Readings; Jdg.11:29-39, Ps.40 & Mt.22:1-14

 

Hi my Friends,

The catholic catechism teaches us that, God created us that we may KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM AND SERVE HIM while here on earth that we will LIVE WITH HIM in heaven for eternity. Every human heart yearns to know and have a relationship with God but to serve him is a matter of choice as God created us with freedom. Choosing to serve God is knowing his will and living that will and purpose God created us for. To know the will of God we need to have a good relationship with him and as much as we pray, we read his word too. St. Thomas Aquinas said “We do not pray to change divine decree, but only to obtain what God has decided will be obtained through prayer.” – St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae.

In the 1st reading, Jephthah prayed and vowed to God, God kept his promise on him and answered his prayer that he may defeat the Ammonites in war. He is also obliged to keep his vow to God hence in the responsorial psalm we are saying “here I am Lord, I have come to do your will”

In the Gospel today, the king is preparing a banquet and invites people but they all turn down his invitation, he instructs his servants “go out…and invite to the feast whomever you find” but even though everyone is invited there is an implied criteria, all guests should have the wedding garment. The king is not so desperate even to accept those who are not responding to his will.

Likewise in our situation, God is not so desperate to see his church full, majority receiving the Holy Communion, majority having and reading the bible, majority praying etc, but are we doing the will of God in our daily life. How many of us are invited, allowed and accepted to receive the Holy Eucharist, yet they turn down this invitation by Christ?

May God enable us always to honour his invitation and respond positively to his will always.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

 

STAY AWAKE!

Readings;  1 Theso.3:7-13, Ps.90 & Mt.24:42-51

Hi Friends,

I remember when we were young we were always excited when we were to have a trip to somewhere and that could course ourselves sleepless nights and anxiety filled days until that day comes and the mission is accomplished. Can we have the same feeling as we await for God, and the day we shall be born in heaven as we die here on earth? Today’s reading suggest us to always stay awake and ready for the Lord’s day.

In the 1st reading, St. Paul tells us the secret on how to stay awake. The only WAY we can stay awake is BY LIVING FOR CHRIST and this will give us maximum JOY here on earth and eternal bliss in heaven. This will make us be grateful to God always thanking him and praying for each other every modem as Paul says, day and night. This is what we call, BEEN CONNECTED with God, hence staying awake!

This continuous connection with God is what Christ is advocating for in the Gospel by urging us to always remain awake and be prudent responsible servants who always do the right thing, in the right time, with the right company and in the right place… This is what he calls, STAYING AWAKE!

May God bless us all and help us to always remain awake and vigilant.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

 

 

BEING SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD

Readings;  Col.1:9-14, Ps.98 & Lk.5:1-11

God created us out of his love for us and wanted a lasting true relationship with us as he interacted freely with Adam and Eve. The sin of disobedience and abuse of freedom by our first parents destroyed this relationship but the coming of Christ, his life, passion, death and resurrection made us adopted sons and daughters of God. When we become adopted sons and daughters of God as we have seen in our readings today, we;

1. Become always united in our hearts and praying for each other as in the 1st reading.

2. We walk, live, talk, behave and do everything in a manner worthy of the Lord. This will enable us bear good fruits like endurance and patience and increase our knowledge of God. Knowing God will enhance this adoption by God and forgiveness of our sins and a share in divine salvation as we heard in 1st reading and the Psalm.

3. Adoption by God makes us God’s instruments for evangelization and even led out our property, time, energy etc for the spread of the gospel as Peter gave Jesus his boat to preach on.

4. As instruments of God, we shall lack nothing. In the gospel, Peter and his companions had fished the whole night and caught nothing, in the morning after allowing Jesus to use his boat, when Jesus was done, they caught a lot of fish under Jesus’ guidance.

5. As children of God, we all belong to the same Father and we realize that all we have comes from our Heavenly Father and thus we MUST SHARE with less fortunate as in the gospel, Peter when he got plenty of fish, called his companions for a share. In such aspect, we develop the spirit of detachment and are able to leave everything and follow Christ.

May God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

Qualities of the blessed of God

Readings;  Col.3:12-17, Ps.150 & Lk.6:27-38

 

Hi my friends,

Today’s reading help us to reflect about the qualities we need to have as adopted children of God who are blessed by him. Some of this qualities are:

1. We become, the chosen ones, holy and beloved.

a) Chosen one of God are those who follow Christ and are always with him as their friend and God. He is Emmanuel God with them. To be called is divine invitation but to be chosen is the human response to the divine call.

b) We become Holy. Been chosen by God and been well connected with Christ we need to be holy like our Heavenly Father as in the gospel today. As humans we sometimes fall short of the grace of God and hence the sacrament of penance reconcile us with the holiness of God.

c) We are beloved, we become beloved of God and even other people loves us as we are the chosen holy of God.

2. The above three elements help us to exercise virtues comfortably as St. Paul highlights the virtue of heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. These virtues can be beneficial to us if we have the gift of forgiveness, we need to forgive each other as God forgives us. This is the life of the chosen few who among the many called and live a holy life hence are beloved.

3. Those blessed of God need to exercise unconditional love, St. Paul says in 1st reading that love is the bond of perfection. With such bond of perfection, we are able to do to others what we expect them to do onto us (Lk.6:31)

4. The fruits of leaving as the blessed of God who are chosen, holy and beloved is that they always have and enjoy peace of Christ in their hearts. With such peace, everything else is right and our hearts becomes disposed to love and be loved.

5. When we do this, we should not take pride in the outcome as we show do everything in the name of Jesus who gives us strength. God always gives us the grace to do good.

 

Fr. Sammie

 

 WE ALL HAVE CHANCES

Readings; 1 Tim.4:12-16, Ps.111 & Lk.7:36-50

Hi friends,

I once entered a matatu (public bus) and there was a sticker which read “nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent” I thought about it and found it to be true, for us to achieve more in this life we need to have a positive self esteem.

In the 1st reading St. Paul tells, Timothy not allow anybody despise him for he is a youth but to prove his maturity in his speech, conduct, love, faith and purity and above all to use the gifts he has rightly without been looked down upon by anyone. In a similar way we should do all that pertains to our life, faith, career, vocation etc allowing nobody to look down on us because of our age, gender, status, faith, family background etc

In the Gospel, this lady knows she is a sinner but as Paul suggests in the 1st reading, she is not thwarted by that to go and express her sorry and ask Jesus to forgive her and more so as Paul says we use the gifts we have, she too is pouring ointment onto Jesus’ feet. Seeing this, Jesus sees her as a repentant sinner and forgives her while the other people sees her as a sinner and rejects her.

May God enable us to always do what is right and needful without taking attention to those who try to stop us from doing good. Amen

God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie

 

CONSIDERING OUR WAYS

Hi Friends,

Sometime back if we were to go to unknown destination we were supposed to go with somebody who knows the place and will show us the way of keep on asking direction to any person we meet on our way. Today with modern technology we use electronic direction guides like GPRS.

Our Christian life and journey to see the face of God, which is the ultimate goal of every human soul as a song goes we need to be in the right way which will lead us to heaven. Using the right way and getting to our destination will bring delight not only to us but to God too as the Psalmist says, the Lord takes delight in his people.

St. John says “we know that when he does appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is” 1 Jn.3:2 This too is the desire Herod appears to have in the gospel whether for a good or bad intention, he seeks to see or meet Jesus. We can ask ourselves, am I in the right track? How can I know am in the right track? The answer to the above questions is a personal reflection and evaluation of one’s life in relation with:

1. My observance of the commandments of God

2. My respect to natural laws

3. The kind of company that I have.

 

May almighty God help us keep on the right way that will enable us see him, know him, love him and serve him through others. Amen

 

Fr. Sammie

 

 

Rejoice, God is with us

Hi friends,

I have noted that people with a court case are always unsettled for they don’t know how the ruling will be. When the ruling is done there joy to winners but there is relief to the losers. In the 1st reading after Ezra the priest read and interpreted the Book of Law from dawn to mid-day and people i.e. men, women and even children who could understand, listened attentively to him and they felt the presence of God among them and fell prostrate in adoration. Ezra noting Divine presence invited them not to weep or feel sad but to rejoice for now they have known what God expects of them and have experienced his presence. They are now to go and make merry rejoicing in the presence of God as from today henceforth rejoicing in the Lord MUST be their strength.

During Mass we get such kind of Divine experience by listening to what God expects us in the liturgy of the Word (1st part in Mass) and rejoicing as we partake heavenly banquet in the liturgy of Eucharist (2nd part in Mass) hence, the psalm responds “The precepts of the Lord give joy to my heart.”

How will we Rejoice and experience Divine presence while in pilgrim to heaven? This is possible if we follow the instructions Christ is giving his 72 disciplines as he commissions them:

  1.   Always act prudently as we live among wolves though we are lambs. To rejoice we need prudence in acting and not letting anybody devour us.
  2. We need to detach ourselves from unnecessary luggage which may be both spiritual (e.g. Hatred, jealousy, gossip, grudges etc) or physical (material things which add no value to our mission and often become an obstacle).
  3. Be dispensers of peace to all who welcome us. Everybody deserves this gift of peace and the more we dispense peace, the more we become peaceful.
  4. Be contented. Majority of people who are sad (cannot rejoice) are those who are never satisfied with what they have. They keep on admiring the grass at the other side of the fence and fail to feed on what is within their reach. Jesus says, eat whatever is set before you.
  5. Settle down. Some of us cannot appreciate their life or themselves or what they do or what they have even once because they can’t settle down, they are always on the move. Jesus says, whatever house you enter, stay there, don’t move about… settle down and work. We also need to relax, settle down and work for us to be able to rejoice in the Lord, as St. Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again, Rejoice” Phil.4:4

May God grant us joy as we journey towards our home in heaven.

Fr. Sammie

 

FRUITS OF GOD’S MERCY

 

28th Week, Ordinary Time

Rom.3:21-30, Ps.130 & Lk.11:47-54

Christ thy kingdom come!

Dear friends, as I reflect on today’s readings, there is a song in my mother tongue which is ringing in my mind that says, if it is not for the mercy and power of God, we can’t be even for a minute. We are who we are despite our weakness by the GRACE and MERCY of God. The mercy of God is so beneficial to us and in respect to today’s reading we can say that:

1. God in his mercy has testified his righteousness to all who have faith in Jesus Christ and who believe in him. Those who believe in Him have fullness of redemption.

2. By our sinfulness we are all deprived of the glory of God but in his mercy we are freely justified by his grace through redemption that Christ won for us. Salvation is for all sinners regardless of our state of sinfulness. Even those who killed prophets and apostles, from Abel to Zechariah as Jesus says in the gospel.

3. By his mercy, God sent his Son Jesus Christ as an expiation for our sins in shedding his blood to redeem us hence the response to the psalm “with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption”

4. God by his mercy, welcomes us all to be redeemed regardless of our status, gender, race, tribe, tongue and nation. The only qualification is to have faith in Jesus Christ. God doesn’t hate the sinner, but sin and so when we go to him in the sacrament of penance and Reconciliation, we are not only forgive our sins, but reconciled back with God and neighbour.

May God have mercy on us sinners, keep us free from evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Fr. Sammie

 

BLESSINGS OF HOPING IN GOD

 

27th Week, Ordinary Time

Mal.3:13-20, Ps.1 & Lk.11:5-13

 

Christ thy kingdom, come.

Dear friends, Hope is among the three cardinal virtues according to St. Paul. Where there is hope there must be TRUST, DEPENDENCY ON GOD, GOOD COMMUNICATION and COMPASSION between the one hoping and the one to whom hope is set upon. This is evident in our today’s readings hence in the response to the psalm we sang, blessed are they who hope in the Lord. According to our readings today the benefits or blessings of hoping in the Lord are as follows:

1. Those who hope in God, fear the Lord, they speak to each other and to God, thus, they love God and neighbor and in the 1st reading we are told, God listens to them attentively. This in the Gospel means, whatever they persistently ask God in prayer they shall receive.

2. Their name is written in the record book which is always kept before God, as noted in the 1st reading. This means that God knows and cares for them as His friends. He provides for them as in the Gospel today, when they knock, God will open his treasures for them.

3. As seen in the 1st reading, They belong to God and God holds them as his own possession, therefore in the Gospel they are promised that whatever they seek they will find, they will find the face of God shining upon them.

4. They always enjoy the mercy of God and in the last day, the sun of justice will shine upon them and it’s healing rays will hit them as we saw in 1st reading and the Gospel promises that God will always give them the best gifts from the abundance of his riches. They will lack nothing.

May God enable us all to hope in Him and be blessed.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

THE FRUITS OF OUR ACTIONS

Rom.6:19-23, Ps.1 & Lk.12:49-53

Christ,  thy kingdom come!

Dear friends, we are aware that any fruit tree produces fruits that may be either edible hence good, or poisonous fruits hence bad fruits. Today’s readings direct us to the fruits of our action which may bring death or life. In the 1st reading, St. Paul says that we present our body to sin and become slaves of sin as we feel guilt about it and actually feel ashamed of ourselves as our call is to righteousness. He says that we need to take ourselves to the sacrament of confession that we may be declared righteous by God and become slaves of God in holiness, this will lead us to sanctification that will bear the fruit of eternal life.

This eagerness to be holy is the fire Christ talks of in the gospel that he has come to set in us that everyone will feel it and seek reconciliation with God. If this happens we shall be divided into only two groups, i.e. Holy, Righteous people who will have eternal life and sinful people who will have death and eternal condemnation.

May God enable us to be cautious of our sins and bring salvation and forgiveness to all of us.

God bless you.

Fr. Sammie

 

 BENEFITS OF GOD’S APPOINTMENT

Readings; Rom.8:31-39, Ps.109 & Lk.13:31-35

Christ, thy kingdom come!

Dear friends, today’s readings are just a good encouragement for those who trust in God and hope in him. What are the advantages of been appointed by God?

1. Having God on our side, nobody can be against us. St. Paul starts by asking, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” God is the creator of everything visible and invisible he has absolute power over every earthly power. Remember Satan asking God for permission to try Job (Job 1:9-13) This is how powerful and mightier God is and he will always be there for us.

2. God forgives his appointed their sins, as it is only him has power to forgive sins and hence Paul asks “If God acquits us, who can condemn us?” The answer is nobody. This is how special we are to God that he sent his only Son, Jesus to come and save us from the bondage of sin and through him we are acquitted and nobody can condemn us.

3. They are always in the love of Christ and nothing, good or bad, can separate them with this love of Christ.

4. They conquer everything overwhelmingly through Christ who loves them infinitely.

5. In the Gospel, we heard that nothing and nobody, not even Herod could stop Jesus from his mission. Those appointed by God too should remain focused on their mission and nothing should separate them with their mission/call/vocation.

6. They will be called blessed. If we remain in the love of Christ, and nothing separates us from this love or our mission, we shall conquer everything and be acquitted and in this nobody will be against us. This is what we call blessedness.

May God enable us to remain faithful to his appointment, remain in the love of Christ so as we shall be conquerors and blessed in this world and in eternity. Amen

Fr. Sammie

YEAR II

Theme: WITHOUT GOD ALL IS VANITY.

When God created the world, he saw it as good! (Gn.1:1-25), it is after creation of all things that He decided to create human beings to take care of His creation as custodians not as owners (Gn. 1:26). When he created humans he saw us as VERY good because we share in His own image and likeness (Gn.1:27-31). This means God created humans when everything else was there and thus we only take care of His creation. I think this brought to Qoheleth, the idea about vanity and emptiness in this life for we found everything already made. He began this book with; “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” (Eccl 1:2) It ends: “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all things are vanity!” (Eccl 12:8) Ecclesiastes depicts the utter emptiness and hopelessness of life without God. During baptism we join the Divine family and become God’s children hence we are “delivered from the futile way of life” (1 Pt 1:18) to live a truly new life (2 Cor 5:17) and absolutely abundant life (Jn 10:10). This means, no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in, to change from vanity to fullness of life we must; 1. Renew our Baptism vows, accept Christ and reject Satan. 2. Pray to God to “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart,”and “fill us at daybreak with His kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days” as we have heard in the responsorial Psalm. If we do this whether we shall be killed or rejected for righteousness like St. John, or the prophets or humble ourselves like Jesus as we have seen in the Gospel today we shall have our life in full and been in true communion with God, no vanity in our life. God bless you all.

“I AM SENDING AN ANGEL BEFORE YOU”

 

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

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Recently in Kenya due to high rate of insecurity our politicians including the MCAs (Member of County Assembly) are seeking protection by human body guards and others are demanding to be given guns including a group of clerics from Mombasa who asked the government early this year to be given guns to protect themselves from enemies. Today we celebrate the memorial of Our Guardian Angel. The powerfulness of Angels can’t be doubted as on resurrection morning, a solitary angel overwhelmed the Roman guards placed around the tomb of Jesus (Mt 28:2), it is stated that twelve legions of angels would have utterly overpowered the Roman soldiers sent to arrest Jesus (Mt 26:53); even one angel was easily able to escort Peter past four squads of Roman guards to escape from his prison cell (Acts 12:6ff). In Exodus God said “I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.” –Ex 23:20.

To those who humble themselves like little children will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven as we have heard in today’s Gospel. They actually allow God to guide, protect, govern and lead them, through Guardian Angels and as we have seen in the Psalm “Upon their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Ps 91:12) hence “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Ps 34:8); thus our guardian angel resembles God’s encircling wall of protective fire (Zec 2:9). Every morning I do pray the following prayer; “Oh Angel of God appointed by the Divine mercy to be my guardian, enlighten and protect, direct and govern me this day. Amen.”

Our guardian angel not only protects our physical body, but also our spiritual life, since our angel is the custodian of our soul (Bar 6:2-6). Even in difficult situations as with Job in the first reading, we shall long to not only see God but be with him forever as Job longs “my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him, And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing” (Job 19:27). We have an assurance in that God commanded the angels to guard us (Ps 91:11) and because the angels obey God perfectly, our guardian angels won’t quit on us.

How sad that our angels have had to witness our sins, omissions, failings, apathy, etc. Surely the angels would prefer to guard us as we advance in our calling to build the kingdom of God, rather than strike up a defensive position against Satan as we avoid living out our calling from God. Let’s bring joy to our guardian angels by living a life of obedient faith (Rm 1:5).

HAVE A BLESSED MONTH. Fr. Sammie

PRAYER INGREDIENTS

Whenever we taste something sweet and nice we all like to get the know how of making it i.e the ingredients and how it is made. Yesterday in the Gospel, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. This means they asked on how to make a prayer but not what constitutes a prayer, and Jesus taught them the ‘Our Father‘ Prayer. Today Jesus gives them what they have not yet asked for i.e. the ingredients of a Christian prayer. I will reflect with you some of this point that we should all take note of as far as our prayer life is concerned.

1. The Holy Spirit guides us in Prayer

After our baptism we receive the Holy Spirit who guides us and is our advocate (Jn.14:26) and guides us in prayer (Rom.8:26-27) so that we may not start with Spirit and end with the flesh as our today’s first reading.

2. We need to Praise God in Prayer

We need to give praise to God for all the things we have prayed for and all that God has granted us as we have seen in today’s responsorial psalm.

3. Prayerful people need to be persistent

This is not because God does not care or needs to be awakened from his slumber or is not paying attention. Persistence in prayer is for our good; through it we grow in Faith and Trust in God. We need to learn to never give up hence advance our Hope. We are humans and God’s ways are not ours so sometimes we think that God is not listening or does not want to help us. This call us to act PUSH i.e. Pray Until Something Happens.

4. God is a friend to those who pray as Jesus described in the Gospel

He is always there for us to assist us in all our needs. Actually, God is more than a friend; he is our Father in heaven as we heard in yesterday’s Gospel.

5. In heaven there is no dustbin for prayers

All our prayers are always answered with either YES, get it, or WAIT for a moment or what we are praying for is changed to what we need most.

Conclusion

We conclude our reflection with this assurance from Jesus; “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
God bless you
Fr. Sammie

GOD HAS MADE KNOWN HIS SALVATION.

 

 

Currently anywhere we find ourselves there is somebody preaching be it on Radio, TV stations, bus stages and even sometimes inside public service vehicles “matatus”. This means even those who don’t believe in God nor go to church have a chance to hear the Word of God regardless of the competence of the person preaching. This is what the psalmist is highlighting today “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God” Ps.98:3. According to St. Paul Salvation comes to us through hearing the Word of God “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” Rom.10:17. This means anytime we hear the Word of God it is our chance to know God’s salvation.

 

Today in the first reading, St. Paul addresses Ephesians as HOLY PEOPLE OF GOD. All of us similarly are called to be holy by the grace of God just as Jesus said “be holy as your Heavenly Father is holy” Mt.5:48 and Peter wrote in his letter, “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy” 1 Pet.1:15. When Simeon saw Jesus he declared “…my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations” Lk.2:30-31. It is Jesus who brought salvation to the world and thus God’s plan for our salvation is to bring all things in the heavens and on earth into one under Christ’s headship. Jesus promised, “And once I am lifted up from earth will draw all men (women) to Myself“Jn 12:32.

 

We must let ourselves be drawn to Jesus and then be in right relationship to Him as he won salvation for us through his death and resurrection and for this he is the Head of His body, the church. Then we will fulfill God’s plan as he has made known to us his salvation by recognizing Jesus as the Head of state, jobs, businesses, schools, hospitals, ministries, marriages, families, and homes. We should recognize Jesus as the Head of all boards, committees, councils, parliament, meetings etc. The scribes and Pharisees thought themselves as the custodians of God’s law and believed they were the most holiest people in the world as the fulfilled rules and regulations which they interpreted as to their convenience. They thought by their knowledge of law they have known salvation and this makes Jesus have a lesson for them for using the same law their forefathers killed many prophets and they use the same law to oppress and judge people. Salvation Christ won for us is that our attitude and actions should relate to Christ’s deeds doing to others what we expect them to do onto us Mt.7:12

 

GOD GRANT US YOUR SALVATION. AMEN
Fr. Sammie

THE GOODNESS OF GOD’S FAMILY

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Every person has his/her own strengths and weakness. A family being a group of individual people who are related thus has her own strengths and weakness and this goes on to a society,  country, race, profession etc. In today’s Gospel Christ says that he has “come to light a fire on the earth” (Lk 12:49). He begins this by dismantling families held together by factors not according to His will (see Lk 12:51ff), For example, many marriages and families stay together because of fears about the future, fearing what people will say, glued and addicted to the family name, finances, or confusion and lack of understanding what one will do or can do in the absence of the other, others are forced to be together because of children, friends or relatives. Under such circumstances, these families will never be what God wants them to be. Therefore, Jesus will dismantle these families and then reunite them in love, self-sacrifice, holiness, and peace. In this way, He will light a fire to purify and renew the face of the earth (Ps. 104:30). Such families are what St. Paul prays for in the first reading “Brothers and sisters, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…” (Eph.3:14-15) and this is a family “that is full of the goodness of God” (Ps.33:5b)

Those of us in families which do not experience the goodness of God and have mixed motives in their relationship with each other are not staying in pure love as suggested in the first reading should cooperate with Jesus as He picks apart any sins, selfishness, or self-deception in our families  and gives us the “gifts in keeping with the riches of His glory” (Eph 3:16), interior strength “through the working of His Spirit” (Eph 3:16) that we may be in His indwelling (Eph 3:17), and with love/charity as her “root and foundation” (Eph 3:17). After being dismantled and re-assembled by Jesus, you and your family “will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may attain to the fullness of God Himself” (Eph 3:18-19).

May God bless all our families and especially those in great need of his mercy enabling all of us to do everything according to his will.

God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie

 

PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD

Readings; Eph.6:10-20, Ps.144:1,2,9-10 & Mt.13:31-35

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It is in the human nature to have fear. Most of the things that we fear are those that are physical and harm or injure our bodies, the most feared is anything that can lead to death. In today’s reading we are advised not to be fearful because we are soldiers of the Lord and soldiers when well equipped need to be brave at all costs. Why do we have to fear those who harm the body and can’t do any harm to our soul, Jesus asks (Mt.10:28). In the Gospel, the Pharisees go to Jesus and tells him that he should flee as Herod want to kill him, and he says “Go and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healing today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.” Lk.13:32. Jesus could not have left until he accomplished his mission, the mission that made him come down from heaven. Likewise we should not fear anything that threatens our mission and whatever becomes a barrier for our vocation not matter the cost.

We can ask ourselves, how can’t we fear in such insecure towns, counties or even countries. The first reading suggests that we put on the armor of God and stand as soldiers for Christ.

1. The first step is to “draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power” Eph.6:10. We are Christians because we are connected with Christ “We can do everything through Christ who gives us strength” Phil.4:13.

2. Step two is to know that our war is against the devil and his tactics, “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil” Eph.6:11. The war we are been set for is to fight the devil and all his tactics thus as we promise in our baptism, that we promise to reject satan and all his tactics. This war is not of flesh but it is spiritual war.

3. Step three, We put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist the evil everyday.

  • So stand fast with your loins girded in TRUTH, We need to be truthful as regards our marriage relationships na tuache mipango ya kando.

  • Clothed with RIGHTEOUSNESS as a breastplate. The chest is harbors the heart. If we become righteous in our heart satan will never have a chance to induce fear into us.

  • Your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of PEACE. If we wear the boots of peace we shall be guided all our days and our steps by peace. Every moment we shall be bringing peace to others, the peace that is safely kept in our heart by the breastplate of righteousness. Jesus said to his apostles “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house. If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you” Mt.10:5-6.

  • Hold FAITH as a shield to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. When Faith becomes our shield we shall be interpreting every situation both good and bad in the eyes of faith. We shall not become complaining Christians but we shall become understanding Christians who have discovered the will of God and live that will of God all our days. The devil is a liar he sets a situation that will make us doubt the presence of God in us and this shakes our faith. Remember the story of Job in the bible.

  • And take the helmet of SALVATION. Helmet is worn on the head, in the head we have our thinking capacity, the mind. if we have the helmet of salvation we shall be thinking and meditating of the Word of God. We shape our mind to understand the will of God, love God and accept salvation by the blood of Jesus and kept safe by the grace of God.

  • The sword of the SPIRIT which is the word of God. The letter to the Hebrew says that “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb.4:12

4. Step four, we surrender everything to God in PRAYERS.With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit” Eph.6:18. Even if we wear the armor of God and we don’t draw our strength from God we shall not excel and we can only draw this power through prayers for in prayer we communicate with God and as St. Paul says, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.” Phil.4:6

God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie

 

WHEN THE LOST IS FOUND

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In all major towns we have notice boards where lost and found documents like driving license, Identity Cards, ATM cards etc. When a person loses something we feel the gap left by what we have lost and actually that is when we get to know the real value and importance of what we have lost. Furthermore, when we have to go into logistics and procedures of acquiring the replacement which is always not as good as the original. When a person finds a precious lost item, he/she feels joy and this is what Jesus describes as celebration when a sinner repents.

When God created us in His own image and likeness, he elevated us above all other creatures and kept well taken care in the Garden of Eden i.e. in the perpetual presence of God (Gn.1:26 ff). When our first parents fell into sin, they were removed from the presence of God i.e. out of Eden and thus sin separated us from God. It is in this that we got lost and that is why Christ came to call and look for the lost sheep and take them back to the presence of God (Lk.19:10). He came to invite all of us regardless of our status, gender, background, cultural practices etc as we have heard in the first reading, whether circumcised or not, Hebrew or Jew or Gentile, black or white etc.(Phil3:3-8)

This is the reason why Jesus is always seen with sinners because he came to save them from sin and win them for God. The Gospel today should not make us feel unwanted due to our current situation but we should every moment “work out for your salvation with fear and trembling” Phil.2:12 and do every good act without complaining or arguing (Phil.2:14-18). All those who have been reconciled with God the Father in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and by virtue of baptism, make the heavens shout with joy over he/she who was a sinner and has repented (Lk.15:10) and this will enable the repentant to have life and have it in abundance (Jn.10:10). All those who were lost and found by Christ are then commissioned and sent to go and seek those who are lost, should they manage to bring them back, they will save their soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (Jas.5:19-20).

 

God Bless You.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

Readings; Phlm.7-20, Ps.146 & Lk.17:20-25

THEME: OUR HELP IS IN THE LORD GOD

If you have ever been waiting for long like in hospital one keeps his eyes focused on the door expecting when the nurse comes will call out his/her name. This is the anxiety we Christians have when we wait for God’s help as the psalmist says “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” Ps.121:1-2. Those people whose help comes from the Lord;

  • refresh the hearts of other Christians by their love and in such love Paul tells Philemon to accept Onesimus as a brother for the love he has for Paul and the Gospel of Christ as we have read in the first reading. We also need to cultivate a loving heart to all.

  • Know that the Lord is the source of their help and thus all they have, the who they are is because of the Lord and comes from God. In such we realize that we don’t even merit the gifts and graces we receive from the abundance mercy of God (Titus 3:5) and thus have a call to pay back to God through all those in need as Paul suggests in the first reading that Philemon is to treat Onesimus as he would treat Paul. All of us sometime run short of the grace of God but since the kingdom of God is within us, God in his mercy and love fills us with grace and forgiveness of our repented sins.

  • In everything that we do which involves the community or even another person, we should be consulting all those involved so that they will not feel as if they are forced as Paul says “but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary” Phlm.14

  • To receive help from God we should realize that this help most often comes from God but through another human being just as Paul sees great help and assistance from God but ministered to him by Onesimus and wants Philemon to receive the same help.

  • For us to receive help from God through other people we need to have a forging heart and in this view Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus of anything he may have done in the past so as to have a good working relationship and assist each other in their pastoral work. This calls for establishment of new relationships that is not tagged to our past bad experiences with the person.

  • God is always with those who receive help from him. I feel the words Psalm 146 call out to me, “blessed is the one whose help is from the Lord.” What that means to me is “be aware” that God is with you wherever you are, and that God is to be found in all places, all people, and all circumstances (Mt.28:20) I know that I need to keep looking for and discovering God in my home, school, place of work, friends and relatives.

  • If our help comes from the Lord, we don’t move here and there looking for help or even God’s kingdom. We should be focused onto the true presence of God as Jesus suggests in the Gospel today “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” Lk.17:21

  • If we fail to appreciate this help from God today, tomorrow we will look for it and we shall not get it, it will be too late “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it” Lk.17:22. Isaiah had foretold of this “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near” Isa.55:6

God bless you all

 
Readings: Rev.5:1-10; Ps.149; Lk.19:41-44

AM I WORTHY?

Have you ever gone to a place that you are not supposed to be in? Attended a function that you are not invited? Trespassed a place which is prohibited? Been in possession of something you are not licensed to have or you are not supposed to have? The other day I visited a friend of mine – a policeman and I wanted to have a photo with his gun but I wondered who will ever see that photo bearing in mind am not licensed to have a gun? I felt myself unworthy to touch that gun which he himself carries wherever he is…

Today’s first reading presents Jesus as the only one who is found worthy to take the scroll in heaven, open its seven seals and read. This is because through his death and resurrection he is the high priest in the heavenly church i.e. Triumphant church. This church prays for us with Christ as the High Priest as we see in the first reading that “Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones” Rev.5:8. So next time don’t doubt that saints in heaven pray for us.

The Catholic Church teaches us that Christ has three main offices: He is a Priest, Prophet and King. In today’s response we say “The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God” (Rev. 5:10). It is through Jesus that we share in his priesthood, kingship and prophet-hood by the virtue of our baptism. All the baptized have common priesthood that led by the Holy Spirit we too here on earth we should be opening the scroll i.e. The bible and meditate on the Word of God. Today we should ask ourselves: now that Christ has made us a kingdom of priests, am I worthy to be in this Mass? Am I worthy to hear his Word and receive him in the Eucharist in this Mass? Am worthy of all the Love, care and blessings I receive from God? Am I worthy to be married to the person am married to? Am I worth the love and praises I receive from my spouse, children, friends etc? Am I worthy to have such bright children? Am I worthy to work where I work or do this kind of business? Am I worthy to be a priest, nun, brother etc?

When we properly introspect ourselves we find that we are not worthy on our own but by the grace of God he gratuitously bestow on us all good things. In the Eucharist prayer II, we say that “will be poured out for you and for many” not for all. So we need to be among the many that Jesus who is praised in the first reading as; “Worthy are you to receive the scroll and break open its seals, for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God and they will reign on earth.” Rev.5:9-10

How can we become worthy?

This can only happen through recognizing our sins and ask for forgiveness. Through forgiveness of our sins we get peace as we have heard in the gospel and Jesus keeps and feels mercy for unrepentant sinner for he/she misses that peace that being free from sin we get from Christ Himself. Forgiveness of sins is through the following;

1. In baptism we became worthy but as days go by we fall short of God’s grace and we are no longer worthy to be in the presence of God and minister to him as we pray in Echarist Prayer II. We should daily work for our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil.2:12-13). It is in this context that every Mass begins with examination of conscience taking note of our short comings and asking God to forgive us our sins so that we may be made worthy to offer a sacred sacrifice and we say three times, through my fault. All through Mass we echo our unworthiness and ask God to have mercy on us sinners that even before we receive the Eucharist we say Lord am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say a word and my soul will be healed. This is the right approach that we are not taking ourselves as pure but as sinners in need of God’s mercy and love

2. Frequenting the sacrament of penance and reconciliation enables us to grow in holiness and thus become worth the sacrifice offered to God for the glory of God and our own sanctification. During confession we:

  • Appreciate the mercy of God

  • Recognise the power of God to forgive sins

  • Feel remorseful for our sins and

  • Ask for God’s grace to do penance, sin no more and avoid near occasion of sin.

3. We also attract holiness by doing acts of mercy like charity, giving alms, burying the dead, being with those who are mourning, visiting and assisting the sick etc.

God bless you all.

Fr. Sammie

 

 

Readings: Rev.18:1-2, 21-23, 19:1-3,9;   Ps.100;  Lk.21:20-28

Click here for full readings

 

Blessed are those who have been called

to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Today’s readings invite us to celebrate by being among those invited in the wedding feast. We automatically qualify to be in this feast by:

1. The fact that we are born in the image and likeness of God (Gn.1:26)

2. We who are baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit qualify by being Christians and since Christ is the Lamb of God He is the one hosting us to His feast.

Once invited and having accepted the invitation “Behold I stand by your door and knock and if anyone hears my voice and opens I will enter and dine with him/her” (Rev.3:20), we need to maintain citizenship in heaven when we are still on earth by having the right garment for this wedding feast. We acquire this garment (Mt.22:10-12) by maintaining ourselves in the state of grace through reconciling with God through the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation and asking for forgiveness from the people we have wronged and by being charitable i.e. Helping those in need.

In the gospel Jesus foretells of the destruction of Jerusalem Temple and he insists to those invited and already in His wedding feast; “But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” Lk.21:28. Nothing should worry us if we are in God’s feats because nobody can destroy us as we are the temples of the Holy Spirit.

May we all meet in this marriage feast of the Lamb.

God bless you and have a good day

Fr. Sammie

2 Responses to “Thursday”

  • Sammie Shiru:

    Thenx sana Mildred. God always acts in time and in his own way but sometimes we say our prayers are not answered but ni vile God chooses to answer us not in the way we requested but in His own way which is always the best. God bless u

  • Mildred Shivachi:

    Good morning Fr. Sammy,
    Wow! This is well said I love it.
    I did not get a chance to attend morning mass today however I am blessed by today’s sermon. Especially on point number 5. Knowing that there is no dustbin in prayers excites me. If I do not get an immediate answer I know his timing is the best and he will trully answer my prayer regardless of the time frame. When Jesus says YES nobody can say NO. Have a blessed and an outstanding day.

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