Seeds of the Word – Advent Daily Reflections

SEEDS OF THE WORD

Sunday 1st January 2017
SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
Numbers 6:22-27, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:16-21

Today is the Octave of Christmas and it is just fitting that we continue with the story of Christmas through Mary, the Mother of God. It is also right and fitting that this day is the first day of the new year, so that we entrust the year into the motherly care of Mary. Our celebration today highlights the special role of Mary in the history of salvation. God found in her a dwelling place where his Son could dwell among men (cf. CCC721).

On this first day of the year, God in the first reading, wants to equip us for the journey by sending his blessings upon us to live in peace. St Paul in the second reading says we are God’s adopted children. Meanwhile, he sent his Son to live among us, and bring us God’s blessings, good health and happiness.

This day is also world day of peace, which in the spirit of Mary, we wish to earnestly and insistently dedicate prayers for the deep and lasting peace in our world infested with violence and strife. Hardly a day goes by without some sort of violence, shootings or killings in one part of the world. Similarly, friendships have become very fragile and easily turned into enmity and potential strife and violence.

Christmas renews our awareness of God’s love, a love we must share with one another. Mary’s motherly care and love for her Son is the same care and love lavished on us daily. Let her guide our steps this new year with our new year resolutions, to become more like Christ in the spirit of courage, faithfulness, gentleness, openness, trust and prayerfulness. May God be our helper through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God. Amen.  

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed and HAPPY NEW YEAR
Fr Thom Amungwa


Saturday 31st December 2016 (St Sylvester)
1John 2:18-21, John 1:1-18

Today is no doubt the last day of the year. Am sure everyone is anxious to step into the New Year. This will be characterised with prayer and fireworks displays around the world at midnight. The excitement is indicative of the fact that we have finished one year and now beginning another. Not that it was all jolly jolly, but that we went through the hurdles as well. What lies ahead is only known to the Almighty and will be revealed to us as the year unfolds. But it will be a year with its own unique characteristics.

On February 3rd, 1960, Harold Macmillan, PM of Britain at the time made a speech at the South African parliament: “The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, the growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a political fact, and our national policies must take account of it.” This was the great ‘wind of change’ speech, after which many African nations started gaining independence. From thence, any great movement to change a deep-rooted system has always been referred to as the ‘wind of change’. Could we say this is blowing over the Anglophone regions of Cameroon after over 50 years of ‘colonisation’ and marginalisation? 2017 will certainly be a year of uncertainty as we struggle through this ‘wind of change’. Our future is uncertain unless God goes before us with his light of truth that dispels even the darkest nights. He is our only hope. Our first reading today reminds us that the antichrist will come, but remain focus because you have been anointed by the Holy One of God. He is the Word that was made flesh and lived among us, full of Grace and truth.

As we continue with our struggles for truth and justice, remember, God must lead the way. Do not betray the cause for a few pennies or for self-interest. Think community and not self. Let the light of Christ continue to shine in each one of us this new year. Let the ‘wind of change’ blow to the end. May the Good Lord guide us all in this endeavour and success will be ours. Amen.

PLEASE PRAY FOR CAMEROON
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017
Fr Thom Amungwa
*Happy feast to all who bear the name Sylvester


Friday 30th December 2016
Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth (Year A)
Ecclesiasticus 3:3-7, 14-17, Colossians 3:12-21, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23,

This feast is normally kept on the first Sunday after Christmas, but if Christmas is itself on a Sunday, then it is celebrated on Friday 30th December, just as we have this year.

This feast reminds us that the family is the nucleus of the society and domestic church. The family life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph help us in our own family life. They teach us so much about family life, especially in today’s world where family life is constantly being attacked from its very core. Their life truly centres on God, and concretised in their service to the Son of God entrusted to their care, and also expressed in their mutual love. With their life, they also teach us that marriage is a covenant between man and woman, and involves reciprocal fidelity.

As a human family, this family also had difficulties but overcame them by seeking God’s will in everything. It is an inspiration to also have a dedicated family prayer life. Hence, on this day, we pray for all our families to be a place of love, unity, peace and understanding. Pray also for broken, and dysfunctional families, those with no family, parents and children who no longer live together for whatever reason. It’s never God’s intention.

We have all heard it said; The family that prays together stays together. Take the opportunity to pray together as a family today, perhaps at mealtime. Ask Christ to unite your family in deeper love. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to pray with your family, look through a family photo album and pray for your family members, living and deceased. Let God be our helper in this regard. Amen

Remember God loves you
Happy feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Fr Thom Amungwa.


Feast of St Thomas Becket (of Canterbury)
Thursday 29th December 2016
Colossians 1:24-29, Luke 22:24-30

St Thomas Becket is celebrated as a feast in England and Wales, but as an  optional memorial in other places.

Thomas Becket was born in Cheapside,, London. He grew up and found favour with King Henry II and they became friends. He was a cleric and still as a deacon, when he was appointed chancellor of England. Later in 1162, he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. He underwent an abrupt conversion of life and used his position to  strenuously defend the rights of the church against the King. For this, he was exiled to France where he stayed for six years, and on his return, he still went through many trials and persecutions. Four knights were later sent with strict instructions from the King and assassinated Thomas in his cathedral on December 29th, 1170. He was immediately acknowledged as a martyr and the King later did penance and endowed his shrine. He is remembered for his courage in defence of the rights of the church.
This feast reminds us of the courage we must also muster daily in defence of the church. We talked yesterday of the light of Christ which King Herod wanted to quench by killing the innocent children of Bethlehem and its neighbourhood. The aim of this was to kill the newly born baby Jesus, the prince of peace and justice. King Henry II in no less sense had the same inclination and  bad intentions in killing the courageous and outspoken Thomas. All these are indicative of the missionary call entrusted to us. How can you courageously bring Christ to your world? Don’t be afraid to stand  up for him.

Remember God loves you
Nice day and MERRY CHRISTMAS
Fr Thom Amungwa


Feast of Holy Innocents (Martyrs)
Wednesday 28th December 2016
1John 1:5-2:2, Matthew 2:13-18

The feast of the Holy Innocents we celebrate today brings to mind another way of thinking about Christmas. It’s not all joy and peace. It reminds us of the innocent children brutally massacred by Herod when Jesus was born with the aim of killing the child Emmanuel. It gives us a festival of a different kind, that the birth of Christ was not all peace and joy, but the beginning of a struggle-to-death, between the powers of evil and the kingdom of light, a struggle which has its climax in the passion and death of Christ.

This feast reminds us of the desperate attempt of man to quench the light of Christ in the world. Such a brutality continues daily in our world today. Think of the different forms of child abuse in our world today, the many abortions, where the foetus is regarded as a thing, think of people in authority trying to supress or buy people’s consciences for egoistic tendencies – trying to protect their jobs etc. Many of such examples abound.

This feasts wants us to protect the light of Christ in the world. In the first reading, John writes, “God is Light; there is no darkness in him at all”. Let us continue to fill ourselves with the light and love of Christ, so that no darkness shall ever overcome us.

Ask yourself, what darkness of mine has God scattered through Jesus Christ?

Dear God, make me strong in faith, like the children martyred in Bethlehem that we may give you glory on high through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Nice day and MERRY CHRISTMAS
Fr Thom Amungwa


Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist
Tuesday 27th December
1John 1:1-4, John 20:2-8.

Many families and individuals can now take a big breath as a sigh of relief, that the Christmas fever is over. What next? While Boxing Day was a day of rest for many, many others spent time in the shops for the Christmas sales events. I happened to be one, and discovered that almost all Christmas articles and others are on sales to clear the shops for other ordinary and day to day stuff. The Christmas atmosphere is almost cleared away. The message is that, let’s go back to our ordinary way of life. It sounds strange but it is the reality of our today’s world. But for Christians, the Christmas story continues, even to next year’s celebrations. In Jesus, God has come to live among us forever.   

St John the Evangelist whose feast we celebrate today does not tell the Christmas story in his Gospel but reminds us that Jesus is the Word that was made flesh and lived among us. He is not coming to live only on Christmas day but for the rest of our lives. Let everyday be a Christmas day for you.

St John was tortured and plunged into a pot of boiling oil but he miraculously survived and died of natural causes at the age of about 94. John was a disciple of love and depicted this in his gospel.

Through the intercession of St John, take time today to pray before Jesus present in the Eucharist in the tabernacle. Reflect on how the babe of the manger truly is living among us and is the life of the world. Let this spirit sustain us throughout the coming year with his love. Amen.

Remember God loves you
MERRY CHRISTMAS
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Happy feast to all who bear the name John, especially the Portsmouth RC diocese dedicated to St John


 Feast of St Stephen (First Martyr)
Monday 26th December 2016 (Boxing Day)
Acts 6:8-10, 7:54-59, Matthew 10:17-22

St Stephen was the first deacon and first martyr for the Church. He was stoned to death outside Jerusalem for denouncing the Jewish authorities as blasphemer. Saul of Tarsus, who later became St Paul was present and approved the killing. Stephen died while praying for those who killed him.

Our first reading today is simply an account of Stephen’s faith, trial and martyrdom. Meanwhile, in the gospel, we see Jesus warning his followers that they will be handed over to others and be betrayed for believing in him. But he tells them not to worry because they will have the Spirit of God with them and those who stand firm to the end will be saved. This is a great challenge for us who have just celebrated the birth of Christ. Can we be up for this challenge to the point of dying for Christ?

Today is also ‘Boxing Day’ – a holiday in the UK and the commonwealth nations celebrated on the day following Christmas day. Its connotation is traced back to the Victorian era when churches often displayed a box into which their parishioners put donations for the poor. It was on this day that, servants of wealthy people were given time off to visit their families, with boxes containing gifts, bonuses and leftover food, since they served their masters on Christmas day. Again, it was a day to open the Christmas presents which in those days were put in boxes.

How do you celebrate your ‘Boxing Day’? Amidst all the excitements, make time for Jesus today and always. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy Feast of St Stephen and Boxing Day
Fr Thom Amungwa 

*Happy feast to all who bear the name Stephen and all Altar servers


Sunday 25th December 2016
NATIVITY OF THE LORD (Christmas Day Mass)
Isaiah 52:7-10, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18

The Nativity of the Lord has four Mass celebrations namely: Vigil, Night, Dawn and Day Masses. They are all important, but I will want to concentrate on the readings of the Day Mass.

Our celebration today, is indicative of the fact that God is telling us something very important, that is, the meaning of our Christian faith. Our faith is not just a doctrine we believe in, but a person – Jesus Christ. He is God’s Word and promise made through the prophets. All our readings for this celebration attest to this truth.

The prophet Isaiah says; “All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God”. This salvation is the Word whom St John in the gospel reveals as; “The Word was made flesh and lived among us”. This is a wonderful gift, which the letter to the Hebrews captures and presents as a spectacular thing that God did for us. God has simply fulfilled his promise made through the prophets long ago.

I know we put in so much for Christmas celebrations. What does it worth if we lapse to our normal way of life the day after. It is a day to take advantage of God’s grace to improve on our spirituality. Ask yourself today, how can my life be changed through my encounter with Christ this Christmas? What can I do in the New Year to better demonstrate my life-altering encounter with Christ? Today is a day of joy. Why not just be an agent of joy to those around you?

As you listen to his voice today, harden not your heart.

Remember God loves you
MERRY CHRISTMAS
Fr Thom Amungwa


Saturday 24th December 2016
Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16, Luke 1:67-79

Today is the last day to Christmas. The above readings are for the morning Mass, meanwhile the evening ceremonies with special readings begin the celebrations of the Nativity of the Lord.

Our first reading today reminds us of God’s message to Nathan through King David promising that David’s house will be a great house which will be established for ever and will be an attraction to all peoples. Our gospel is Zechariah’s hymn of praise for God who has come to help his people through a descendant from the house of David. John is only out to prepare his way.

From this evening, we begin the Christmas season with the celebration of Christ’s birth. Note that all our messages through out advent have been pointing to this one great moment. As we round up our preparations today, what opportunities have you made good use of? Let none be let to lapse or go back to our old way of life after the Christmas day fanfare. Let our new life go beyond the Christmas day and in the new year. Be an example of one who has been brought out of darkness into the wonderful light of Christ. 

This is the last day for Christmas shopping. Take your Christmas to-do list and strike off one task that is not absolutely necessary and use that time to be present to God, family or friends. How does it feel to be among them? Christmas is all about God, family, and friends. Enjoy it dear friends.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and MERRY CHRISTMAS
Fr Thom Amungwa


Friday 23rd December 2016
Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Luke 1:57-66

The prophet Malachi in the first reading tells us that the Lord will send a messenger to prepare things before his arrival. That messenger is Elijah. But remember we were told on Thursday 2nd week (cf. Gospel) of advent that John the Baptist is the new Elijah. In the gospel, we continue the story of Elizabeth who has now given birth and facing the problem of naming the child. The angel had commanded that his name is John which many disputed. Zechariah his father doubted and lost his speech. In his obedience today, Zechariah’s tongue is loosened and he begins to speak again by praising God. Our gospel concludes in saying that, the hand of the Lord was with John. He is not alone. The Lord’s hand is with us as well. He has a mission for you as well.

Have you ever bordered to find out the meaning of your name and why your parents called you that way? You will be amazed if you do that today. Remember, John means; ‘Beloved of God’. What about you?

Today is about obeying the Word of God to know your mission. It is a source of blessing, strengthening and healing. Many wondered what this child will turn out to be. In fact, he is out to prepare the way for the Lord. We too are to go before the face of the Lord and prepare his way. What child of God have we become so far? 

Reflect today on how you have drawn closer to God and made others come close as well. How have you been an agent of Christ’s salvific mission in the world? Do something to alleviate someone’s physical, psychological or emotional suffering today. That is God’s plan for you today.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa.


Thursday 22nd December 2016
1Samuel 1:24-28, Luke 1:46-56

Our readings today show that, this is a day of thanksgiving to the Lord who does great things to humble people who trust in God. In the first reading, Hannah who had surrendered herself to the Lord, was blessed with a son. She surrendered and dedicated her son Samuel to the Lord in thanksgiving. Samuel will be a very great prophet of the Lord. Our gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s meeting between Mary and Elizabeth. In thanksgiving to God, Mary composed a hymn of praise which we know as the Magnificat. Mary sang out her joy and gave thanks to God for the wonders done to her, and for the world values that Jesus, her Son to be born will upset.

Our take home message today is that; Like Mary, we too may surrender our whole life to the Lord, so that we can truly praise and magnify the Lord with all our heart. And like Hannah who humbly dedicated herself and her son Samuel to the Lord, may we too give ourselves totally to the service of the Lord.

For our Advent action, take a look around you. What in your life do you find a source of thanksgiving and rejoicing? As we await the Lord’s coming, give thanks to God and rejoice in a special way today by allowing yourself to a special treat. Today is about yourself. Make a special thanksgiving to God for your life. How do you feel about yourself? Rejoice in the gift of laughter and praise God at the top of your voice. May he meet you in this mood in a few days. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Wednesday 21st December 2016
Song of Songs 2:8-14, Luke 1:39-45

“O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death”.

The first reading sounds like a love letter in which a lover walks through the mountains, sings and leaps for joy at the prospect of seeing his beloved. This is an allegory of God’s love story with his people, in which He comes to stay with His people. In the gospel, Mary, propelled by the Holy Spirit and with the new life of Jesus in her visits Elizabeth, who has also conceived. It is normal for a woman who conceives to be given some help, so as to have enough time for rest. Mary made herself available for this. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice the child in her womb leapt for joy – John recognised who the child Mary is carrying is. At the same time, Elizabeth acknowledged that Mary carried the Lord and that therefore she is most blessed.

As we prepare for the birth of Christ, we will also be filled with the blessings of the new life that Mary experienced. May we too be propelled by the spirit to serve those in need, and by this our faith will indeed grow and be strengthened.  

Make a date with a friend today. Enjoy the reciprocal giving and taking of friendship. You can also play the part of a ‘secret Santa’ by delivering a small, unexpected gift anonymously to a needy friend or relative. How about that?

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Tuesday, 20th December (4th week)
Isaiah 7:10-14, Luke 1:26-38

“O Key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison: free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death”.

One of the greatest themes of Advent is that of fulfilment. Fulfilment of a prophecy and a promise. Yesterday, we heard of the stories of the annunciations of the births of Samson and John the Baptist. All these were fulfilled. Today, we have the most important of those annunciations to Mary. She is the maiden spoken of by Isaiah in the first reading whose son will be called Emmanuel, a name which means; God-is-with-us.

Mary is troubled by the words of the Angel, but of importance is the fact that she readily said ‘Yes’ to the words of the angel. Just like Mary, ‘Yes’ is the attitude we are all called to have as we approach this great season of Christmas – an attitude of openness and reception of God’s will in our lives. Christmas is the time of fulfilment of the promise of salvation. How can I make that fulfilled in me?

So many times, the Lord calls, we maybe too busy with television, facebook, whatsapp, browsing, etc. Give some of this time to the Lord. Maybe, spend some more time with a distressed friend or family member, or on a spiritual reading or in prayer. Say ‘YES’ to Jesus today, for he is the key of our lives. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and remain blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Monday, 19th December 2016 (4th week)
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Luke 1:5-25

“O Root of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations: Kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim. O come and deliver us, and do not delay”.

In the bible, we find stories of people chosen by God for special missions. Their birth announced in a special way and moved by the spirit of God. Our readings present to us two examples today – Samson and John the Baptist.

Our first reading recounts the annunciation to the wife of Manoah in which she is told that she would bear a son. This child was Samson who was a great champion against the Philistine. In the gospel, we read another annunciation to Zechariah, the priest, by the angel Gabriel. Zechariah is told that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son despite her years. Note that Elizabeth is the cousin of Mary. That child will be named John and will be great in the sight of the Lord, bringing many people back to the Lord.

All these remind us that God is having a plan for us as well. He has a mission for us in the world for his plan of salvation to his people. What do you think God wants you to do for his people in our world today? We cannot know. But we can only open our hearts for him to come in at this Christmas time. Remember, there is no handle to open the door of your heart from outside. Only you can open from inside.

Just look around you and see those considered outcast or marginalized. Try to acknowledge and extend a gesture of hospitality to them. Invite them for a coffee, a meal or give them a Christmas card/present. Make a lonely person feel welcomed. You are the modern-day Samson/John the Baptist. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice new week and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


4th Sunday of Advent – Year A (18th December 2016)
Isaiah 7:10-14, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

“O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave us the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power”.

On this 4th and last Sunday before Christmas, the tone of our readings turn from prophecy to that of the immediate preparation and events leading to Jesus’ birth. Today, God reveals the choice of the Messiah to come from the house of David, as echoed in all three readings.

St Matthew in the gospel narrates how Jesus was born. In his infancy narrative, Matthew traced Jesus’ lineage back to the dynasty of king David. This is also meant to show us that Jesus is really the promised Messiah as Isaiah and Paul insinuated in the above readings. In this narrative, Matthew also highlighted the very important and central role played by Mary and Joseph as God’s instruments for fulfilling his mission of salvation for us. This shows how God uses human instruments to fulfil his mission for us. 

Let us this last week of advent make ourselves available as worthy instruments, for God’s mission to be fulfilled through us. 

God speaks to us in many ways. He spoke to Joseph through dreams. Sometimes, God speaks to us through events in our lives and those around us, perhaps even strangers or people whom we may not particularly like. Take a moment to consider how God may be speaking to you today, especially in ways you may not have been open to previously. He wants to give you a mission. Listen to him both in Word and Sacrament. Ponder over this for your action plan today. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy fourth Sunday of Advent
Fr Thom Amungwa

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Saturday 3rd Week of Advent (17th December 2016)
Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Matthew 1:1-17

17th December always marks the start of a special period leading to the immediate preparation of Christmas up to the 24th – Christmas eve. It also marks the start of the ‘O’ Antiphons which address Christ with seven magnificent Messianic titles, based on the Old Testament prophecies about Christ. We shall use these ‘O’ Antiphons on each day of this last week before Christmas. The first today is; O Wisdom, the Latin form is “O Sapientia”.

“O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth”.

Our readings today all set up the scene for the birth of Christ. Prior to his death, Jacob is blessing his twelve sons. Judah is singled out and given the symbol of authority (Sceptre), which shall not pass from him until the coming of the one to whom it rightly belongs. Jesus is the rightful one to whom this sceptre belongs as seen in the genealogy from Abraham to Jesus Christ presented in today’s gospel. 

As we come to this turning point of our advent preparations, go through the different titles of the ‘O’ Antiphons (O Wisdom, O Ruler, O Root of Jesse, O King of David, O Morning Star, O King of the peoples, O Emmanuel). Which has a personal significance to you?  Use it in prayer this last days of advent. What difference does this make in your final preparations?  

Remember God loves you
Nice day and stay blessed.
Fr Thom Amungwa


Friday 3rd week of Advent (16th December 2016)
Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8,  John 5:33-36

Christmas is all around the corner and we all look with longing hearts for that great day of joy and celebration. Through the prophet Isaiah in the first reading, God invites us all without discrimination for this great day of salvation when his integrity will be manifested – the birth of Christ. In the gospel, Jesus describes John the Baptist as a lamp alight and shining, but his light was only pointing to something greater. John came to help the people to understand and to believe.

Through the voice of John, the people rekindled their hope for the day of salvation which Isaiah prophesied. John was not about the past but about the future that will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

During Advent, we hear God’s voice in scriptures telling us about the fulfilled promised. It is left for us to decide whether or not to believe in Christ and his message, knowing the great reward which awaits us at the end of time.

As we look forward to Christmas and the future, may we look with eyes of faith and hope because God’s promise has already been fulfilled. Guide us Lord to a deeper unity and understanding of this mystery.

Today, go to a quiet place and meditate on that name JESUS. What feelings does it evoke for you? During this remainder of advent, remember the blessings and power associated with the name. Don’t use it in vain. Only use it when faced with genuine difficulty and challenge. Show respect for the name in your life. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Thursday 3rd week of Advent (15th December 2016)
Isaiah 54:1-10, Luke 7:24-30

A Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius once said; “When a wise man points at the moon, the fool examines the finger”. This visual image sounds funny but in truth many always forget the substance and chase the shadows, that is, looking at the finger that is pointing at something else.

In today’s gospel, Jesus asked, “What do you go out into the wilderness to see?” They went out to see John the Baptist, but Jesus tells them. John was just a sign to prepare for the Lord whom Isaiah in the first reading says he will take pity on us and our lives will be so much better thus. Many accepted him and repented like the tax collectors and many did not. The Pharisees who refused to be baptised have thwarted the will of God for them and lost what God had in store for them. What a pity? But the Pharisees are not alone.

There are so many signs and symbols this time around like the advent wreath with candles, Christmas tree, decorations and lighting, what to eat and drink etc. We get steeped in preparing all these and forgetting to heed to the Baptist’s voice calling out for repentance. All these signs and symbols only point to something approaching for us to welcome – Jesus the Prince of Peace. Jesus can only enter our hearts when we see that these signs are only pointing to a reality. As we approach Christmas, we need to look honestly at our lives and ask ourselves whether or not we have fully accepted Christ as our Saviour. The day of the Lord is near. Make haste.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

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Wednesday 3rd week of Advent (14th December 2016)
St John of the Cross (Memorial)
Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25,  Luke 7:19-23

In the first reading today, through the prophet Isaiah, God reminds us that he is in charge and has no equal. His word is truth and brings healing and salvation. In the gospel, John sends his disciples to ask Jesus; ‘Are you the one to come…? Jesus’ response is neither ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but simply that they tell John what they have seen and heard: the blind seeing, the lame walking, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dead raised, and the poor lifted up. These are the things that will happen to us once we let God take control of our lives.

Jesus’ last words in today’s gospel are, “Happy is the man who does not lose faith in me”. This is a great challenge for us as we move towards Christmas. Do we truly believe that Christ is the Son of God our Saviour? If so, then, look at our form of Christmas preparations. Does it match our faith in God? Experience has shown that for the most part, Christmas is celebrated without Christ. Look closely at your faith and see what needs to be done to include Christ in our celebration in order to achieve true happiness this Christmas.

As you start setting up your Nativity scene at home, let it remind you of the real meaning of Christmas: the gift of God’s great love for us. Consider how you may avoid excesses this Christmas. Let your time and love be the gift of yourself to the new born king. Don’t buy into the consumer mentality.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Tuesday 3rd week of Advent (13th December 2016)
Memorial of St Lucy – Virgin and Martyr
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13,  Matthew 21:28-32

The Prophet Zephaniah today echoes what we have been hearing for the past few weeks from Isaiah. He talks of the rebellious who will be destroyed and the remnant who heed the voice of God will be redeemed and return to God. This indicates that God is not so much concerned about our sins but what efforts we put in to repent. This is seen in Jesus’ challenge to the chief priests and elders in today’s gospel. Of the two sons, the one who said he will not go and later went to work in the farm is better than the one who said I will go and later didn’t go. Hence, sinners who recognise their sins and repent are better than those who boast of being righteous.

Our challenge today is to ask ourselves if we acknowledge our sinfulness and ask for God’s forgiveness or we claim how righteous we are and need no forgiveness? How happy are we to call ourselves Christians? Do we actually live like Christians? In a few days that are left before Christmas, we need to answer these questions and make a change to our lives for Christ to dwell in. Since our God is ever closer to us, it is time to get ourselves moving and seek first God’s way in our life and the world.

Let us pray through the intercession of St Lucy today for us to see clearly the path that leads us to God’s path and design for us. The name Lucy means ‘light’. May her light lead us to Christ at Christmas. Amen. 

Remember God loves you
Nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Happy feast to all who bear the name Lucy.


Monday 3rd week of Advent (12th December 2016)
Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17,  Matthew 21:23-27

Our first reading today is a prophecy from Balaam, about the glorious future of the people of God. This will come about through a star from the tribe of Jacob who shall take leadership and be a great king. In the gospel the chief priests and Temple elders challenge Jesus on where he gets his authority from. We know Jesus is a descendent of Jacob and should be the great king spoken of in the first reading. Therefore, Jesus’ authority is from God, and being God himself, he is the authority from whom his authority comes from.

We might point fingers at the chief priests and Temple elders, but the challenge for us today is to ask ourselves if we really see Jesus as an authority. What about his words in scriptures? Don’t we challenge them daily in rhetoric to get our way out?  Or don’t we disagree with something in the gospel, or rationalize it, or cheeky about it like these Temple elders? Jesus’ mission is for our salvation – a glorious future. Advent prepares us for the fulfilment of this great promise.

What are some of your faith or life questions you have been waiting on God for answers? Do you believe in his authority to answer them? If so, make a home for him in your heart this Christmas. Start the preparations now if not yet. Spend some time daily reading your favourite scriptural passage, then, you will begin to find the tough questions of your life and faith. Jesus is our cornerstone.

Remember God loves you
Nice day and stay blessed.
Fr Thom Amungwa


3rd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete/Rejoice Sunday) – Year A
Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

 We celebrate today the third Sunday of Advent, which changes the tone of our advent preparations to one of rejoicing, since the coming of the Lord is very near. Today is known as Gaudete, or ‘Rejoicing Sunday’, taken from the first word of the entrance antiphon – Rejoice. The third candle of the advent wreath is lit and the liturgical colour is pink (rose).

The prophet Isaiah in the first reading, wants us rejoice and be glad for our God is coming, to open blinded eyes, unseal the ears of the deaf, the lame walk and the dump sing for joy. St James also exalts us to adopt the virtues of patience and joy as a way of life, so as to encourage others to live as God wants. In the Gospel, John the Baptist appears again, and while in prison sends his disciples to find out if Jesus is the Christ. Jesus’ response is very much Isaiah’s prophecy in the first reading – the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dump speak. Christ is the reason why we rejoice and make an effort every year to amend our lives. This in a bid to make a home for him in our hearts. He is the one to heal and make us whole again. Are we ready for him?

Let’s continue to pray for the people of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, following recent civil unrest and brutality of the military on the civilians they are supposed to protect, that a lasting solution may be found.  As we patiently wait in hope for the birth of Christ at Christmas, we turn to him in trust, not because we expect him to magically make everything better for us but that he will give us a renewed faith and courage to go on witnessing to him.
Amen

Remember God loves you
Happy ‘Rejoice Sunday’ and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Saturday 2nd week of Advent (10th December 2016)
Ecclesiasticus 48:1-4, 9-11,  Matthew 17:10-13

In our first reading, today, the book of Ecclesiasticus reminds us of Elijah’s fiery nature in his pastoral ministry and reminds us of his coming again. On the question why Elijah has to come again, Jesus tells his disciples that this has to happen to make sure that all is as it should be. In fact, Elijah has come back in John the Baptist. The mention of John is a reminder of our preparations for Christmas. The most important preparations concern the faith and not expensive presents and glittering wrapping paper. If we fail in this, then we will be missing out on the most important gift of all which is the presence of Christ in our hearts.

John the Baptist payed the price for preparing the way for Christ’s coming with his own head on a plate. We too need to learn that following Christ means suffering and sacrifice. Again, take some quiet time and open yourself to these words and contemplate what it means to you that God became human. Don’t border your brain to unravel the mystery behind it. But open yourself to God’s grace to speak to you. What have you experienced?

May the progressive lighting of the Advent candles shed light on our hearts and enlighten us on how the Word of God is alive and active and taking flesh in our lives. May the Word of God also empower us to be prophets of our time so that we will turn our hearts and the hearts of our people back to God and receive His blessings of peace and joy. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy weekend and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Friday 2nd week of Advent (9th December 2016)
Isaiah 48:17-19, Matthew 11:16-19

The prophet Isaiah today continues to tell us how the Lord laments the fact the people are not keeping his commandments. God is pleading and begging us to listen to his voice that will bring us peace and happiness. The psalmist today reiterates that; “Anyone who follows you, Lord, will have the light of life”. In the Gospel, Jesus also laments and decries his own people, whom he finds difficult to describe; “What description can I find for this generation?” Jesus is also disappointed because many of them refused to recognise God’s coming in either John the Baptist or himself. Their excuse was that John the Baptist was too much an ascetic while Jesus associated too much with sinners, and led an ordinary life. We too may be very quick to point fingers at these people. But how many of us have excuses not to follow God or not to go to Church?

The readings today remind us that if we reject God and his Son as they are, then we will never be truly happy. We are challenged today to look at our image of God and see if it is an image we have made ourselves and use to justify how we live, or do we believe in God as he really is and so live our lives according to the gospel?

O Lord, our Redeemer, see our waiting in silence and send the Messiah to complete the dawn of grace. Wrap us in your love at this difficult moment of our lives and instil in us the hope that will triumph when Christ will come again. He is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day in prayers.
Fr Thom Amungwa


Solemnity of Immaculate Conception
Thursday 2nd week of Advent (8th December)
Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX formally proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church.

Essentially, the doctrine here is that from the moment when she was conceived in the womb of her mother, she was kept free from original sin and was filled with the sanctifying grace normally conferred during baptism. It is fitting that she should be conceived free from the traditional mark of original sin as she would be the mother of Jesus Christ.

Our first reading from the book of Genesis reminds us of how sin entered the world through our first parents – Adam and Eve, and were expelled from the garden of Eden. By contrast, Mary is often seen as the ‘New Eve’, for it is through her Son that we are restored to full unity with God. Mary is a special creature as the angel Gabriel tells us in the gospel; “Rejoice, so highly favoured!”.

St Paul in the second reading reminds us that God has chosen us in Christ to be his people and that Mary’s immaculate conception was part of God’s predestined plan for our salvation and glory. To achieve that salvation and glory, we should live the gospel values and say ‘yes’ to God every day, just as Mary did. This solemnity in Advent, reminds us of our preparations for the birth of Christ at Christmas and of the necessity to remove sin from our own lives.

As we reflect on Mary’s great faith today, let us consider areas in our own lives where we need to trust God more. Entrust those areas to God today. Pray the mysteries of the rosary or even a single decade of the rosary as a start of a conversion journey that will lead us to the joyful celebration of Christmas. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Have a nice day and stay blessed.
Fr Thom Amungwa

 Happy feast to all who bear the name Immaculate


St Ambrose (Memorial)
Wednesday 2nd week of Advent (7th December)
Isaiah 40:25-31,  Matthew 11:28-30

Today we celebrate the memorial of St Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, who had an amazing accent to the clerical ladder. He was the Prefect of Milan, where he tried to prevent a riot at the election of a new bishop of Milan to succeed the Arian bishop. At that instance, someone in the crowd shouted: “Ambrose bishop!” the crowd took this up and by popular acclamation, he ended up to be the bishop of Milan. Note that he was still a catechumen then, but he speedily received the sacraments to be consecrated bishop. He made a very good bishop and was instrumental in the conversion of St Augustine. What marvels God works daily amongst us.

As we continue with advent preparations, Isaiah reminds us of the power of God as he strengthens the powerless. He is a God of love and justice. Our short gospel passage sees Jesus calling the people to himself, particularly those who are burdened and weary. He reminds us that his yoke is easy and light to carry. The readings therefore remind us again that we need to look at our lives and at our faith and acknowledge that God is the Lord of all and that Jesus is his Son and our Saviour.

What injustice do you see around you today? Obviously, you cannot correct every injustice, but what steps are you putting to ‘make the crooked straight?’ Make an effort as God’s instrument to work for justice this advent. May Jesus the Son of Justice find you a compatible partner at Christmas. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Tuesday 2nd week of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-11, Matthew 18:12-14

The Prophet Isaiah today tells us how God will come to console his people and to tell them that their sins have been atoned for. Isaiah is the herald’s voice used by John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord and to comfort his people. This voice is a spiritual road engineer to make a straight high way for the Messiah and God across the desert, levelling mountains and filling the valleys and potholes of our lives. This Messiah is coming like a shepherd to feed his flock and gather his lambs in his arms.

In accord with Isaiah, Jesus in the gospel uses a parable about a shepherd who goes in search of one stray sheep leaving the other ninety-nine untended. This may sound crazy in the eyes of the world with the saying: “A bird in hand is worth a thousand in the bush”. Now, we can understand the saying, “God’s ways are not our ways”. This is a show of God’s concern for us all, even the lost ones will be searched and consoled. Now is the time to find our way back to the Lord, for he is a God of a second chance. This is what Advent is all about – turning back to the Lord.

As you return to the Lord, make a special effort to celebrate your personal conversion through the sacrament of reconciliation this advent. Let this advent be a time for me to get my life in order. May the Good Lord continue to be my strength and help. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


Monday 2nd week of Advent
Isaiah 35:1-10, Luke 5:17-26

Whenever we are faced with a situation that has never happened before, we say it is impossible to happen. But it is only theoretically impossible if we have not tried and sometimes discover that it is possible. Never lose faith in trying even the impossible.

As we begin this second week of Advent, we see a paralysed man being brought for Jesus to heal but the crowd made it impossible for them meeting Jesus. This did not stop them from thinking of other strategies as they got up the roof and lowered the paralysed man to Jesus who saw their faith and cured him. Hence, without faith, nothing is possible, but with faith, everything is possible. This gospel text is the fulfilment of the first reading in which God himself is among his people to heal them. The prophet Isaiah gives us courage not to be afraid: Look your God is coming to save you. And to make the impossible possible.

At this Advent time, let us look at our own lives and not just ask whether or not we believe Jesus to be the Son of God, but to also acknowledge our failings –  openly and honestly – and ask the Lord for forgiveness as we approach the celebration of his birth.

What is it specifically you want to achieve this Advent season? Take time to write them down and regularly refer to them as you engage in your daily meditations and preparations for Christmas. Be focused and have faith in God that he will do it for you. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


2nd Sunday of Advent – Year A
Isaiah 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-9, Matthew 3:1-12

On this 2nd Sunday of Advent, as we continue with our preparations for Christmas, two key role models are presented. The first is the prophet Isaiah in the first reading who spoke of the Lord’s arrival. The promised king will be filled with the Spirit of God, a man of integrity who will judge with equity and righteousness, and strengthen our unity despite our diversities. Hence, wolf live with lamb, leopard with kid, calf with lion, etc. The second is John the Baptist with his message of repentance, for the kingdom of heaven is near at hand. John has a stark warning for us today to prepare our hearts through the sacrament of reconciliation before we can become heralds of the good news as well.

It is not uncommon to see the hustling and buzzling of this season, not cramming the Church doors for the sacrament of Reconciliation but the shops and super markets for shoes, dresses, gifts, Christmas items, etc. Christmas trees, carols and lightings are already set up. What do these signify for you without any spiritual preparations? Our take home message today is that it is time for cleaning up and levelling the rough edges of our lives with the hope of receiving our Lord in a wonderful state of mind and body.

For our action plan today; What barriers in your life are you erecting to prevent God from finding you this advent season? Are you keeping too busy and caught up in the materialism of this season? What is that activity that is keeping you in a distance with God? Try to break down one of those barriers today and let Jesus be the Lord, Saviour and King of your life. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy second Sunday of Advent and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Fr.Thom Amungwa


St Francis Xavier (Memorial)
Saturday 1st week of Advent
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26,  Matthew 9:35-10:1, 6-8

On this advent Saturday, Jesus is making a tour through towns and villages teaching and healing the crowds as they cry out to him. This is the message prophesied by Isaiah long ago as we hear in the first reading. Jesus is the fulfilment of this prophecy. Because of time, Jesus could not get everywhere to teach and cure the people. Hence, he gave authority to his disciples to preach in his name and heal the sick. Jesus also calls on us today to continue to carry his message to the ends of the earth by our lives. A good life demonstrating the gospel values can speak more than a good sermon, for actions speak louder than words.

St Francis Xavier whose memorial we celebrate today also demonstrated the gospel values by his life in his time and is still an example for us today. We too can go that far by our own exemplary lives.

Just as Isaiah assures us today that the Holy One of Israel hears and answers their prayers, we too believe in God’s gift of the promised messiah to heal us. As we await his coming during advent, take a moment to evaluate your relationship with one another. Are you holding any grudges, or need to ask forgiveness from someone or to forgive anyone? Having reflected on this, take whatever step is necessary to be an agent of reconciliation this advent so that you may offer your own gift to the Christ child with a clean heart. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa 

Happy feast day to all who bear the name Francis.

Friday 1st week of Advent
Isaiah 29:17-24, Matthew 9:27-31

We live today in a very fast moving world. Events evolve so fast, information disseminate like wild fire. The virtue of patience almost non-existence and immediate results are required.

The prophet Isaiah today continues to speak of how things will be different when the Messiah shall come – the lowly will be raised, evil plotters will be silenced etc. In the gospel, we see Jesus restoring sight to two blind men after they had affirmed their faith. This shows that Jesus is the one whom Isaiah referred to in the first reading. How patient were the people to wait for this day?

For us today, it’s time for us to affirm our own faith in Christ and patiently wait for that day when we celebrate his birth. Advent is a time for waiting patiently in faith, and hope for God’s answer to our prayers as he did for his people in the past. Don’t give up waiting due to lack of patience and turn away from the Lord. It is not about how quickly but about whether we believe.

As the days and nights of Advent fly, scriptures cry that the Lord is coming to enlighten his people who remain prepared in faithfulness. Let us go forth to meet Christ with our lamps fuelled by the oil of our lives. That oil is composed of prayer, charity, & volunteering. Let us set about these for this Friday of Advent week and patiently wait for the birth of Christ into our lives. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Thursday 1st week of Advent
Isaiah 26:1-6, Matthew 7:21, 24-27

There are many lessons we learn about life. For example, difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. Our difficult struggles will bring us the much-needed freedom. The truth of life is simply that hard work will have its rewards.

The prophet Isaiah tells us today that the Lord has set up a strong city for his faithful people. He will knock down the thrones of the unfaithful and the faithful will now have the upper hand to reign. Hence, the psalmist confirms that, ‘It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men or princes’.

Jesus tells us in the gospel that it is easier to say, ‘Lord, Lord…’, than to do his will. Our faith in Christ must be put into practice. This entails hard work and denying ourselves. How often have we been able to share messages of love, sympathy, peace and harmony on social media? Have we found it easy practicing what we share? It is easier said than done. We are told today that facing the difficulties and challenges of our faith require a lot of hard work on our part but the reward will be great. Let our Advent preparations involve some practical challenges of our faith, no matter how difficult.

God will guard us along the way when we build our lives on him our Rock and stand firm with him in faith. Let us trust in Him and continue to build on the Lord our Rock. Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Wednesday 1st week of Advent
Feast of St Andrew (Apostle)
Romans 10:9-18, Matthew 4:18-22

St Andrew was born at Bethsaida and worked as a fisherman. He was originally a disciple of John the Baptist before Christ called him. He brought his brother Peter to Christ, who later became head of the Church. Just like many of Christ’s apostles, very little is actually known about St Andrew. In the gospels, he is mentioned as the one who brought the gentiles to Jesus and the one who pointed out the boy with the loaves and fishes. He is said to have preached the gospel in Asia Minor and Greece and to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaia. He is the patron saint of Scotland.

What we learn from Andrew is that, Jesus called him while on his daily family work of catching fish with his brother Peter, they abandoned everything for the sake of Christ. Now, their interest was for the salvation of humanity and not only their individual family, thinking more of others than self. We too are called daily to leave whatever personal thing we are doing and think of the masses suffering injustice, marginalisation, insecurity, poverty etc. We are called to higher horizons in service of God’s project as taught us by scriptures. The world waits for our word, our risk and reaching out to the unreached beyond our personal lives. What will you do today for the sake of Christ? If we call on the name of the Lord, we must also confess with our lives that Jesus is Lord. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy feast day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 1st Week of Advent
Isaiah 11:1-10, Luke 10:21-24

It feels nice to hear fairy tales because it keeps us smiling. But the challenges we face daily in life are no fairy tales, because, often, they don’t leave us smiling or happy.

The prophet Isaiah in the first reading seems to present us with something like a fairy tale. A picture of serenity, peace and harmony where the wolf lives with the lamb, panther with kid, calf with lion, infant plays over the cobra’s hole etc.

Is this just a fairy tale? We might think so due to our daily experiences of more and more antagonism, enmity, fighting and killings etc. Jesus prays for us all in gratitude for the fulfilment of Isaiah’s vision. His presence will bring peace among enemies and this peace is the knowledge of God. The Psalmist tells us, “In his day’s justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails”. Yes, let justice reign everywhere.

God wants us to start dreaming now and believe in them. He is looking down on us and will surely come to our aid. He will make a new beginning with us in the Messiah. We may fight and struggle today but the coming of Jesus will help us give us hope, and make us believe that kingdom stories are not fairy tales. 

In our Advent preparation, let us again become like little children of the kingdom, children who want to dream, children who dare to believe that stories can come true, and children who dare to hope against hope. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 1st week of Advent
Isaiah 4:2-6, Matthew 5:8-11

On this first Monday of Advent, we can remind ourselves of the journey we are undertaking. A journey to meet God in human nature. Pope Francis adds that advent and Christmas are composed of two journeys: ‘Our journey towards God and God’s journey towards us’. As we set out on this journey today, let us set our targets and vision – that is, what we hope to achieve at the end of the season and concentrate on it. The first target is to meet God. The prophet Isaiah invites us to mount Zion where the Lord will meet us and instruct us on the ways of God. Do we struggle to live in the ways of God from the instructions we have gotten about God so far? What is our attitude towards Jesus the Christ? Is it like the centurion in today’s gospel who came to Jesus with such great faith?

As we set out on this journey of faith to meet God in human nature in four weeks from now, let us be open to follow his ways – the ways of peace, love, reconciliation, nonviolence, food and care for all, living with wisdom and no war. Let this be our dream and hopefully be determined to achieve at the end of this advent journey when God comes to us. Amen

Remember God loves you
Nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

1st Sunday of Advent (Year A) – 27th November 2016
Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:37-44

Today, we begin the ‘advent season’ in which we make our preparations for the Lord’s birth into our lives at Christmas. The theme for today is very much that of waiting as well as being ready for the moment which will arrive at a time we do not expect. For this, all readings today focus on vigilance, not as an agonising wait for the Lord/judge at the end of our lives but as awareness to the presence of the Lord today. The first reading tells us of the new world that will begin with the coming of the Lord. The gospel urges us to be vigilant so that we may welcome him at his “advent”. St Paul in the second reading exhorts us to open our eyes to discern the signs of the new day which has already dawned. Let’s wake up to an honest Christian life because the Lord’s time is at hand – we must show our faith in him by how we live and witness.

We are challenged today by Jesus to be alert and vigilant in living out the Gospel message. We never know the day nor the hour when our presence may bring life to another or, through our inattention, allow them to remain in need or pain. If we live our lives with passion and purpose, and total dedication to God’s kingdom then our end will not be a disaster but a joyful entry into the fullness of life that God promised us through Jesus.

As part of our Advent preparations, we could reflect on the hidden areas of our life and ask the Lord for the courage to live more freely in His light. Open to him the door of your heart to come in, recognize him when he asks to enter, and welcome him in the street in that neighbour. This will make our advent great. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy Advent season and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Fr.Thom Amungwa

Saturday 34th week (26th November 2016)
Apocalypse 22:1-7, Luke 21:34-36

On this last day of the liturgical year, John in the last chapter of his vision, presents us with the river of life, rising from the throne of God to bring healing to the faithful to see the face of God. These faithful ones will also live in his never-ending light because the Lord God will be shining on them, and they will reign forever and ever.

Hence, Jesus gives us a watchful exhortation: “Stay awake, praying at all times to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.” This means to withstand temptation and face the divine judge with confidence. At Mass, we always hear “The Lord be with you”. Some respond and some do not, and some as well understand the meaning and others do not. Whatever the case, the phrase calls us to pay attention to the Lord, who is here and now with us. If we are not aware of God’s presence in the Mass, how would we be aware of his presence during the course of the day? Being with the Lord moment by moment, will help us to be ready to be with Him in eternity. When next we attend mass, take note of the phrase; “The Lord be with you”. Respond to it and be aware of its impact and significance

Let us offer this last day to God, knowing that from tomorrow is another year is the gift of God’s life and light present among us. Amen

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and stay blessed.
Fr Thom Amungwa

——————————————–

DAILY BREAD
In the first reading St Paul reminds the Galatians that they have received the Holy Spirit not because they have kept the law but because of their faith. Jesus on his part teaches us in the gospel that with our faith, anything we ask from God will be given us. All our prayers are always answered though we might not like the answer we receive. We are called today to believe in God and to trust in him for if we simply keep the commandments but do not believe, it will count for very little.
Stay blessed Mbeligi
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Memorial of the Holy Rosary
The emphasis today is on prayer and the victories we gain in prayers especially the rosary. This feast started as a result of the victory at Lepanto where a small Christian fleet defeated the mighty Turkish armada of the Moslem world trying to conquer Christian Europe. The pope at the time pius V saw it as a miracle and attributed it to the rosary which he had asked the world to pray. He thereby instituted this day as a memorial of this victory and saving christianity. Today’s memorial therefore reminds us to be steadfast in prayer and always to trust in the Lord for he will be with us to strengthen us. October is the month of the rosary. Pray pray pray the rosary. Amen
Happy feastday
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Saturday 27th week
Gal 3:22-29, Lk 11:27-28
St Paul continues to remind the Galatians that they are all sons and daughters of God because of faith. Hence, no distinction should exist in the sight of God. It is the same message Jesus has in the gospel as we are challenged to hear the message of Christ in the scriptures and live by it everyday of our lives. Not only this, but help to spread it as well.
Hearing the Word of God is more important than any human relationship in kinship, marriage, family and parents. Let the scriptures be our daily bread.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
28TH Sunday in OT
2Kgs 5:14-17, 2Tim 2:8-13, Lk 17:11-19
Our readings remind us today that, giving thanks to God at the top of our voices is the one act that should never have a holiday in our lives. It is not an option. Looking at everything around us we cannot but say we owe God: Our life, our bodies with eyes to see the marvels of creation and our ears
to hear creation’s songs, the beauty around us, all the good people to appreciate and love, etc, and above all God coming near to us in Jesus Christ. What more can God sacrifice and offer us than this food of eternal life? Gathered around the Eucharistic table, let’s praise and thank God at the top of our voices.
Note that Eucharist is from a Greek word meaning Thanksgiving. Think of what you can do to thank God in a special way today. He is waiting for you this day. Do not fail him.
Happy Sunday and stay blessed
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Monday 28th week
Gal 4:22-27, 31-5:1, Lk 11:29-32
St Paul reminds us that we have been freed from Jewish laws and given the path of faith by Christ, because Christians are descendants of Abraham’s free wife’s child – Isaac.
The people in the gospel are asking Jesus for a sign to proof he is the messiah. Jesus reminds them of Jonah and he is greater than Jonah. If the people of Jonah’s time repented, what of us today? Knowing Christ today as greater than Jonah, can we also repent of our selfish, greedy &violent ways after listening to the word of God or are we part of the evil world? The answer is living in our individual hearts.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Tuesday 28th week
Gal 5:1-6, Lk 11:37-41
Some Galatians believed that to be saved they needed to be circumcised and live under the law but St Paul tells them that they are saved by Faith. True faith proves itself through charitable works and not through external signs.
In the gospel, Jesus reminds us that the heart is what God looks at – not the outside. What is inside u? Both readings therefore want us to look into ourselves and to make ourselves inwardly pure. One way of doing this is by giving alms to the poor, helping the needy, and treating people with respect just as our God treats us.
Can you do a good to someone in need today? God is waiting for u. Do not fail him.
Remember God loves u.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

Hey (stop press)
Tuesday 11th Oct:
Remember Pope John XXIII also whose optional memorial we celebrate today Tuesday 11th Oct. He was recently canonized along side John Paul II by pope Francis.
John XXIII initiated Vatican II which reformed the church to what we have today.
He died on 3rd June 1963, made Venerable in 1999, beatified in 2000 and canonized on 27th April 2014 by pope Francis alongside the one who beatific him (JP II).
St John XXIII, pray for us. Amen.

DAILY BREAD
Wednesday 28th week
Gal 5:18-25, Luke 11:42-46
I have always wondered why Jesus cured all the sick except the Pharisees and scribes from their “open eyed” blindness. Maybe because they reflect us. Are any of their traits in me? What obstacles do I put for others who seek God or how am I a light to those in darkness? St Paul advices that we should live with the Holy Spirit guiding our lives. Otherwise we only fall into sin. That’s why Paul tells us of vices found in living by the flesh and the contrasting virtues found in living a life in the Spirit.
We all know our strengths and weaknesses. Just do ur best and leave the rest to God.
Remember God loves you.
Have a nice day
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Thursday 28th week
Eph 1:1-10, Lk 11:47-54
As we begin reading the letter of St Paul today to the Ephesians written while in prison in Rome, Paul reminds us that God had a secret plan from the beginning of time and that that plan has now been revealed. The plan is that all things will be united under Christ who shed his blood that we might be saved. In rebuking the officials Jesus is reminding us too that if we indulge in hypocrisy we will not attain that God’s plan from the beginning of time which is union with God – set in place by Christ.
Are u moving towards the right direction or are u a hindrance to someone by ur hypocrisy? For letting u see this day God is giving u a second chance. Can something be done today?
Remember God loves you
Be blessed today
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Friday 29th week
Eph 4:1-6, Lk 12:54-59
Jesus today admonishes us to read the signs of the time. If we can read the weather signs why not the messianic times? These include charity, selflessness, truth, forgiveness, justice, obedience, gentleness, patience, etc which St Paul says will help us build up the unity of the body of Christ. Are these the things lacking around us? We all form part of that body in whatever vocation we find ourselves in life. How do I help build that unity in fostering these virtues? Can we discover points of contacts and openness in our lives to build up the body of Christ in the gospel values? We all remain responsible in whatever we do. Remember there is one Body, one Faith, one Baptism and one God who is father of us all. Amen.
Remember God loves u.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Saturday 29th week
Eph 4:7-26, Luke 13:1-9
Whenever we look around the world, we find it stratified as 1st world, (developed), developing or 3rd world countries. Sometimes brainwashed by these slogans, we resort to defeatism, saying things like ‘God has blessed the Whiteman and punished us… etc’ Maybe this idea is linked with the age-old thinking that misfortune is connected with sin. Jesus rejects this idea but further says unless we repent we will all perish. Which is that sin I have kept for long and postponing to repent? Now is the time for tomorrow may never come for u. We shouldn’t put off our repentance until tomorrow, but begin now for we do not know if we shall live to see tomorrow.
Yesterday could be termed ‘Black Friday’ in Cameroon because we were all left in disarray & depressed moods due to fatal killings on transportation networks. It left many blaming/criticising this or that but I think it is instead an invitation for us to pray for the repose of their souls and for their beloved families left behind.
St Paul reminds us to work for the building up of the body of Christ. That can only be done in our neighbours. Praying for them, loving and cherishing them. We can only help contribute as part of a whole. Do i add strength or contribute to the weakness of that whole? We can only answer as individuals.
Remember God loves u.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
30th Sunday in OT (C)
Eccl 35:12-14, 2Tim 4:6-8, Luke 18:9-14
Every blessed day each of us has the opportunity of standing before the mirror to look at ourselves to make sure we have the best look before stepping out of the house. Sometimes there are things we dont like about ourselves so we adjust them to show the outside world what is not part of us.
Our readings this Sunday remind us that God looks at us as we really are.
The first reading from Ecclesiasticus says God takes no account of our standing in the world but listens to all who humble themselves. The two men praying in the temple remind us of acknowledging our sinfulness. Too often we pretend to be really what we are not. We wear masks and dare not show our true selves, not even before God. Today God wants us to be honest and humble with ourselves. Such an attitude will bring us closer to God and inherit the crown of righteousness reserved for us as St Paul tells us in the second reading. Let us ask the Lord today to hear our humble and sincere prayers.
Pray for the victims of the train accident in Cameroon last Friday and their families
Remember God loves u and happy Sunday.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

DAILY BREAD
Monday 30th week
Eph 4:32-5:8, Luke 13:10-17
St Paul today encourages us to love others in imitation of the Father and the Son who both love much. Only in this way can we build the kingdom of God and live righteously. Christ in the gospel heals a woman out of love on the Sabbath. The synagogue officials are not happy that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. But Jesus challenged them if they wouldn’t untie their donkey for watering because it was a Sabbath? If that could happen to an animal on a Sabbath, what more right to untie a fellow human being from their bonds on a Sabbath?
We sometimes neglect so many acts of love that can make us righteous. Think of the varied reactions after the train accident in Cameroon last Friday. There were those who showed love to the victim’s and families, others made fun of it, others again blaming this or that, others just interested in filming to post on social media while victims needed evacuation for treatment etc. How did u react? What was ur support? Was it an act of love?…
Brethren, Jesus appeals to our common sense today to remember that the Sabbath is a day of God, to remember the goodness of God and thank him for his love. Hence the best day to pass that love to others and create one another anew. Love love love.
Remember God loves u.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Tuesday 30th week
Eph 5:21-33, Luke 13:18-21
St Paul today advises on married life, saying that a husband and wife should have the same relationship with each other as Christ has with his church. This will grow, flourish and bring success in their union.
Jesus uses two brief parables to show how the kingdom of God flourishes and grows. It will only grow if we allow it to do so and help in spreading it. The kingdom of God must grow among us like the mustard seed into a big tree or like flour transformed into bread by the yeast. The seed was planted in us at baptism when we were still young. The Word of God continues this task in us daily. It is expected to nourish us to grow and grow and grow. How successful do we think we have grown in our faith? Remember it involves challenges. The most obvious today is parting with the past. Growth means change and moving ahead. This cannot happen without saying goodbye to the past and even to the present. This brings to mind the pain of separation and giving up the familiar things. Joy only comes when we know we are on the way with the Lord. This is the only fruitful journey we cannot abandon. Stay on track as u will flourish, grow & inherit the kingdom of God. Spread the Word. Sow the SEEDS OF THE WORD
Remember God loves u.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Wednesday 30th week
Eph 6:1-9, Luke 13:22-30
There exists this age old and undeniable tension between parents/children and slaves/masters. Always a result of one imposing its opinion and the other opposing.
St Paul speaks about this relationships in the first reading and advices that all men and women should live in respect and love after the example of Christ. The practical question is, how can I make the other party feel happy and better?
Jesus answers in the gospel by saying all are invited to the kingdom where many will enter through the narrow gate except those who fail to do the will of God. Surely we want others to open the door for us, but are we ready to open for others? This involves making them feel better and loved. How many people have I made to feel better and loved this day. How do I fare at home with family or at the jobsite with colleagues or wherever I find myself? Hope good. If not, then try to be a catalyst today to a situation and make others feel happy and loved. God relies on u.
Remember God loves you.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom A.

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Eph 6:10-20, Luke 13:31-35
Of recent, there have emerged so many prophets, prayer warriors, prayer points etc all surrounding the recent train accident in Cameroon. One could hear chants like; “God is in control, God knows why, God is still saying something… ” etc. Whatever the case St Paul warns that God’s kingdom does not function free of opposition or enemies. Hence, pray at all times and not only when there is a disaster or treats of one. In Paul’s own words, “stay awake in prayer… ”
Although the devil and his demons were defeated by Christ on the cross, they still remain very dangerous. To combat them therefore, we must allow Christ to cloth us in spiritual armour & never to stop praying while spreading the gospel. This will give us the much needed courage to face and overcome the stumbling blocks of this world, after Christ’s example in the gospel as he moves towards Jerusalem knowing what awaits him. Pray for such courage to be on top of situations and not the other way round.
Remember God answers all our prayers. The problem with us is that we never accept God’s answer. Have faith in him and be blessed that he is my rock.
Remember, God loves u.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom A.

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Friday 28th October
Feast of SS Simon & Jude.
Eph 2:19-22, Luke 6:12-19
The feast of these two saints are jointly celebrated most probably because they both preached in Mesopotamia and Persia. Not much is known about them, but we know Simon is called a zealot, i.e. one who was passionate about the coming of the messiah and the kingdom of God. Jude is the son of James but mostly forgotten because of similarity of name with the one who betrayed Christ.
Jesus in the Gospel is said to have prayed all night before choosing his twelve apostles amongst whom were Simon and Jude. We too by virtue of our baptism have been called by name to share the good news to the poor. How is the task going? Hope we are still committed to it. Don’t give up even if u come across stumbling blocks. Jesus has prayed all night also for our faithfulness and love. Let’s in turn pray for others especially those with desperate cases through the intercession of St. Jude Thaddeus. Most importantly, may we always carry the image of Jesus in our hearts as St Jude did, and be a witness to his love in our lives. Amen.
Remember, God loves u.
Happy feast to all Simon & Jude.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom A

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Saturday 30th week
Philippians 1:18-26, Luke 14:1, 7-11
Yesterday, we started reading St Paul’s letter to the Philippians where he eloquently expressed his personal feelings of joys, sorrows, anxieties and hopes. In thanking the Philippians today for their generosity to him, Paul sees it as an encouragement and help to spread the gospel. Life to Paul is Christ to be exercised in the humblest manner.
Jesus’ parable in the gospel today about humility is a reminder that we do not take things for granted. It is for us to know who actually we are and what we deserve. Humility is knowing our position and taking it. Sometimes we presume we are so close to the host more than everyone else not knowing some other person may be. In fact, how close do you think you are to God? We are only to be servants bent before others and not take ourselves to what is not given. There are many others who will sit nearer to the host than you. What should draw us closer to God should be our love and compassion and not just religious devotion and legalism. All we have and are is a gift from God and are called to share that gift in humility of heart. Are you ready? Then, get set and go!!!
Remember, God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom A.

SEEDS OF THE WORD
31st Sunday in OT – Year C
Wisdom 11:22-12:2, 2Thessalonians 1:11-22, Luke 19:1-10
Our readings this Sunday remind us of God’s mercy, and how we need to take our opportune moment to let Jesus impact our lives.
The first reading talks or the mercy of God Which has no boundaries. It does not discriminate of who we are or what we are. St Paul in the second reading says we should not be involved in any sensational rumours about the end of the world, but indulge ourselves in good deeds and faith in Christ.
The gospel is the story of Zacchaeus who wanted to meet Jesus but was too short and so climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. Zacchaeus refused to be limited by the crowd or let his short coming be a distraction to his salvation.
Daily, we face many obstacles preventing us from seeing Christ and receiving his mercy. Therefore, never allow any obstacle to take advantage of you. Instead use them as stepping stones to success.
Again, Zacchaeus was short but quarrelled no one, but only made a different option. Change your option today as well and success will be yours. Take advantage of Jesus passing by. He will not fail you
Remember God loves you.
Stay blessed and happy Sunday.
Fr Thom A

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Monday 31st week
Philippians 2:1-4, Luke 14:12-14
Most often, before embarking on a task, we ask ourselves, what am I going to gain from it? How will it benefit me? Otherwise, I do not engage. Or even if I do so, it is done reluctantly. Yet all these points to our self-centredness and ego.
St paul advices in our first reading today that no one should think of his own interest first but let the other person’s interest be your priority. Jesus furthers this point in the gospel by telling us that we shouldn’t do things for the sake of earthly rewards or re-payment; but that we be charitable to those who cannot give back anything to us. Here, Jesus is referring to the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. These are seemingly the most rejected around us when we have a party. Sometimes when they even come around uninvited, the security guards become their shepherds leading them away to ‘yellower pastures’.
Have you recently had a party or invited for one? Whom did you see there? What do you think of Jesus’ words? Has it changed you? What are you thinking of doing next?
Jesus says, “that they cannot pay you back means you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again” (Lk 14:14)
Remember, God loves you.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom A.

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Solemnity of All Saints
Tuesday, 1st November
Apocalypse 7:2-4, 9-14, 1John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12
Many places celebrated this feast last Sunday but many others do it today. The church gives the option for the local ordinary (Bishops) to transfer some solemnities which fall on a weekday to the nearest Sunday for pastoral reasons. England and Wales have their celebrations today its proper day.
On this day, we celebrate not only the publicly canonised saints as found in the calendar of the church, but also all those who have reached eternal life with the Lord, including our deceased relatives and friends who have died and are counted among the communion of Saints.
We are accustomed to think of Saints as extraordinary people remote from us. But our Liturgy reminds us that they are ordinary people like us, of same flesh and blood as we. But they had the courage to be different, to do the ordinary things of life in the extraordinary way of Christ from whom they draw their courage. They put us to shame with their quiet but strong gentleness, their integrity, their commitment to God and to people in Justice, Truth and peace.
Let us ask the Lord today for the strength to follow him the way they did.
Remember, God loves you
Happy feast and stay blessed
Fr Thom A

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Commemoration of all the faithful departed (All Souls)
Wednesday, 2nd November
Isaiah 25:6-9, Romans 5:5-11, Luke 7:11-17
Today, All Souls day, we commemorate all our beloved dead and pray for them in association with our Church doctrine that, the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from temporal punishment due to sin and from attachment to mortal sins be purified. They need to be cleansed to attain the joys of heaven with the Saints whose feast we celebrated yesterday. This is effected by our prayers and the sacrifice of the Mass for them. Full sanctification is the requirement for heaven and this is done in purgatory. It is for this reason the whole month of November beginning today is dedicated in prayers for them. List of names of our dear departed ones are placed at the foot of the altar on which mass is offered daily. These poor souls badly need our prayers, almsgiving and Mass for their release from purgatory.
Praying for the departed is a Christian obligation. We thank God for the increased number of masses Christians offer daily for the departed and for the greater numbers attending masses on this day and visiting the cemetery this month. Keep in up for you are doing great good for the faithful departed.
Pray also on this day for all those innocent souls massacred daily in conflicts around the world and many others who have no one to pray for them. Today, we dare to say in faith that they are alive in the Lord and near to us even beyond death. We entrust them to the Lord and pray that they may be with us in our struggles.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in perfect peace. Amen
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom A

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Thursday 31st week (3rd November)
Philippians 3:3-8, Luke 15:1-10
St Paul speaks about the truth of himself today and of his loyalty to the Jewish tradition. He was perfect with the law but only when he discovered the moral authority of life-Jesus Christ, did he discover how he had been living in darkness. Only in Christ did Paul discover that all the strict observance of the law are not advantages but obstacles to encountering Christ. Paul was lost and now he rejoices because he has found his way again through the Cross of Christ. Christ has become his riches and all the rest doesn’t matter.
The whole of chapter 15 of Luke’s gospel talks about something that is missing and finding it again brings joy except the elder brother of the prodigal son. Jesus’ parables of the lost and found items can be a vivid description of what St Paul describes in the first reading. It can also be our own story. Have you ever been lost in the faith? Have you found your way back or still there? Come back.
If we want to be accepted as true Christians, then we must convert today and not continue in our sinful ways. Christ tells us in the gospel that there is more rejoicing in heaven over the conversion of a sinner than for the 99 who have no need of repentance. Every new day is a second chance the Lord offers. How many second chances do you want to have in life? The time is now. Come back to him.
Remember God loves you
Stay Blessed.
Fr Thom A.

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Friday 31st week (4th November)
Philippians 3:17-4:1, Luke 16:1-8
The call to remain faithful to the gospel is the theme of St Paul’s message today to the Philippians and to us today. This is because only the faithful can attain the glory that awaits us. St Paul says the Cross should be the greatest sign of showing God’s gratuitous love for us. Hence, don’t be misled by any prosperity religion without the cross. St Paul also warns of certain shameful things we do and pride ourselves in them. For example, some communities pride themselves in bribery and corruption such that you are seen as a social misfit if you refuse a bribe or refused to be corrupted. These are things that will take us no where.
Jesus in the gospel ‘surprisingly’ praises a dishonest servant. It will be difficult to interpret and understand this parable if we do not understand the point Jesus was making. Jesus was not praising his dishonesty but his astuteness. If this steward could use such ingenuity to prepare such a future for himself after been dismissed from work of earthly things what more of us Christians of our future after dismissal from this earth? What ingenuity do we use as well to prepare for eternal life? Our true homeland is in heaven. Hence, use even the last drop of your blood to prepare for this future.
When we can be faithful to the Lord in the very small and ordinary things of life and remain focused on him, then we are prepared for eternal life.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Saturday 31st week (5th November)
Philippians 4:10-19, Luke 16:9-15
Money money money is a sounding commodity everyone wants to have as much as possible. No one seems to have enough of it no matter how much you possess. It is not how much or how less you have that matters but how you use it or how you let it use you. St Paul continues his doctrine today by thanking the Philippians for all their generosity to him alluding to the fact that by this, they are also helping the spread of the Gospel. Not only this, but also creating a good CV for themselves for the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, Paul says; “I have learnt to manage by whatever I have, I know how to be poor and how to be rich too”. He used money well for the spread of the gospel. All his managerial skills come from God-the One who gives him strength. Can God too be in control of our wealth and lives? A difficult one to digest in today’s modern material world infested with secularism.
Jesus in the gospel warns against being a slave of two masters. “You cannot be the slave both of God and of money”. He therefore calls on us to make God and heaven the only things that matter in life. Like the Philippians, lets help in the spread of the gospel in any way we can and that begins with the strengthening of our own faith in Christ and the resurrection. By our faith we become the light for others to see and follow.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
32nd Sunday in OT – Year C
Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14, 2Thessalonians 2:16-3:5, Luke 20:27-38
At the death of someone very dear, it is very hard for most people to accept that the beloved person in gone forever. We wish to see the deceased one again. For a Christian, though death is a cruel separation, this is not a mere pious wish. For we believe that physical death is not the end; we believe in the resurrection. Just as Jesus died but rose from the dead, so will we rise again. This is a certainty of faith that gives meaning to life. God is a God of the living as the gospel tells us today. It is fitting for our readings on this first Sunday of November to talk about death as we dedicate this month praying for the dead.
Jesus in the gospel tells us quite clearly that there is life after death and that we all have a place in that life with God, especially those who put their trust in the Lord as the woman and her seven sons in the first reading. They will rise from the dead and dwell for ever with God. this news can be an inexhaustible comfort for us, and a sure hope. It is unconquerable. Death has done its worst and has not won. So, as you live your lives in this world, think on the love God has for us and on the fortitude of Christ. Be brave and persevering, and practise God’s love towards all. Faith is not given to everyone, but the grace of goodness and love is, since every human being is in God’s image. Let our faith, then, light up the world around us, so that people can see the hope and love that is in Christ Jesus. Yes, God is a God of the living.
Let us continue to comment our dead into the hands of our living God.
May their souls Rest In Perfect Peace. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Monday 32nd week (7th Nov 2016)
Titus 1:1-9, Luke 17:1-6
Today we start reading St Paul’s letter to his friend Titus-a fellow missionary whom he had left in the Island of Crete. Paul’s encourages Titus to continue organising the Christian community there. Getting good leaders of every town of exemplary character is another task Titus is to carry. In fact, these leaders should have irreproachable character, not arrogant or hot tempered, not a drunkard or violent, not out to make money or squeeze his subordinates dry etc.
Quite a difficult task for Titus. If Titus were here today would he as well find such a leader? Or can I be proud that Titus will come for me? Remember, we are all leaders of the faith. As Christians, it is a standard we could all try to live. Jesus summarises all these in the gospel by advising that we should always try not to be an obstacle to others or lead them astray. Again, we must forgive others who come to us seeking forgiveness for their wrongs. It is a reminder that we cannot come before God daily asking for forgiveness when we cannot forgive others. Forgiveness identifies us to a higher calling in life, which is the call to holiness. Like the apostles, we can only ask Jesus to increase our faith and to strengthen us to be what we can be pleasing to God. May God be our helper in this regard.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Tuesday 32nd week (8th Nov 2016)
Titus 2:1-8, 11-14, Luke 17:7-10
Paul continues his letter today to Titus advising on how we should live and behave as Christians. This is because we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of our God and Saviour Christ Jesus. Paul also reminds Titus that the example of his own life in Crete will be very important for the growth of the faith there. This is a gentle reminder that we teach more by example than by word only. This recalls a recent posting on social media that went viral about one African president who was on the streets with the people on a clean-up campaign day, digging, sweeping and carrying of refuse into bins. How many presidents could do that? One doesn’t need to be a president to do that. Even in our local areas or communities as leaders, we can also be good examples to our subordinates.
Jesus in the Gospel challenges us of our attitude on service. He wonders if we could sit our house helps (I hesitate calling them servants) at table and serve them? In effect, Jesus is reminding us that we are servants of God to serve his people whether as a leader or subordinates. Also, we should not expect praise for living as Christians because by it we are merely doing our duty.
Remember God’s grace has been revealed to us, making salvation possible. Hence, give up everything that does not lead to God, and all worldly ambitions. Try always to live good and religious lives, since, we are merely servants, and have done no more than our duty to obey our Master and Lord. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Wednesday 9th November 2016
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Feast)
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12, 1Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17, John 2:13-22
Basilica comes from a Greek word meaning “Royal House” and used to refer to certain churches given special privileges by the Pope. The St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome is one of such. It is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and seat of the Holy Father as the Bishop of Rome. Remember, St. Peter’s Basilica is the seat of the Holy Father as Supreme Pontiff. Our celebration today reminds us Christians of the special use of churches to worship God. We are God’s loving people who build our lives on Christ in his Church.
Our readings today remind us of the water flowing from the temple to cleanse us. The temple being Christ, and when we are cleansed, we form part of Christ body and in turn cleanse others. They also grow and bear fruits like plants by the river bank. Today, Jesus has made a whip to drive out the evil spirit that daily tempts you and dishonour you. Be cloth with the grace of God to strengthen you and direct you daily to the right path.
Make good use of the Church as the house of God and the source of life for us. It is our duty to build that house of God. We do not only refer to the physical building but the Church within each of us and the Church as the unity and gathering of all who believe in Christ. Be your brother’s keeper by displaying the image of Christ in all we think, do and say. Amen
Remember God loves you.
Happy Feast and stay blessed.
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Thursday 32nd week (10th Nov)
Philemon 7-20, Luke 17:20-25
Human nature is always pruned to look at the future to the point that the now is forgotten. Think about the weather forecast, horoscope, fortune-telling, the future after Brexit or the future of America after the recent elections etc.
Paul in the first reading is about sending Onesimus to Philemon his former master. Onesimus is worried about his future with Philemon from whom he escaped after causing damage. But Onesimus remains a changed person and a brother.
Jesus in the gospel tells us that the kingdom of God is among you. Jesus wants us to be present in the now of our lives. For many, the now may not be very nice or rosy as we may even be struggling with our difficulties, worries and anxieties. But it is in those difficulties that God reveals to us how much he loves us. He even let his only Son Jesus to suffer grievously, be rejected and even die for us. Still today, he suffers and is rejected when people reject his gospel. How we treat one another, slave/free, and how we treat Jesus, the body of Christ here among us, is the measure of our faith. Can God rely on us to do something good for a brother/sister today?
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Friday 32nd week (11th November 2016)
2John 4-9, Luke 17:26-37
The general consensus is that people in Europe and America are very busy and have no time. Yes, we are very busy for the most part with the same stuff – work, chores, appointments, meetings, assignments etc. Human relationship in many of such areas is dying out and human existence has been reduced to functioning. A new god has appeared in the guise of smart phones where many heads are stuck on for hours on little screens either facebooking, whatsapping, twitting, googling, etc how can human relationship be restored?
Jesus in the gospel today warns us about the monotony of eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, buying and selling, planting and building. All these can make us lose sight of something very important – Love of God and neighbour. St John reminds us of the great commandment to love one another. This will save us unlike those in Noah’s days when he went in to the ark and the flood destroyed them all. St John also warns against false prophets. The gospel already provides us with all we need. Why turn elsewhere? It is time to use God’s resources well and to read and understand what God in Jesus is saying to us. The time is now. We all are being offered the gift of God’s patience again and again. Take the opportunity and pray through the intercession of St Martin of Tours whose memorial we celebrate today. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Saturday 32nd week (12th Nov. 2016)
3John 5-8, Luke 18:1-8
There are many things that we don’t seem to get tired of doing like watching TV, eating good food, interneting, shopping, travelling etc. What about the things of God? Are we tired? St John today is commending the Christian community for the love they show in supporting the servants of the gospel. By so doing, they are also helping in the spread of the Good News. Of importance is our own support to the spread of the Good News today in the world. Bear with me to mention that the devil has varied means today of distracting us from helping in the spread of the gospel. We face lots of challenges today from the devil. Servants of the gospel have a great task. We all cannot be missionaries, but our support for them help to also spread the Good News. Pray for them and do not abuse, despise or curse them in their humanity.
Let me no wrong or idle word
Unthinking say;
Set thou a seal upon my lips,
Just for today. (Cam hymnal 317-vs 4)
And Jesus teaches us to pray with full confidence, with persistence, constantly nudging for God’s attention. And if a dishonest judge can give into a widow’s pestering, how much more will God heed the pleas of his own children? Never give up even if it has taken you five or more years of prayers and seemingly God is quiet. God’s time is the best not yours. Therefore, we are to persevere in our prayers and not loose heart.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
33rd Sunday in OT (Year C)
Malachi 3:19-29, 2Thess 3:7-12, Luke 21:5-9
When we indulge in any work, we look forward to the end because of our reward. The end of the week/month is very important for workers as they expect to get their wages/salaries. Farmers get their reward at harvest time, so too with any trade. For us Christians, when is our own reward?
Today is the 33rd Sunday and we are coming to the end of the Church year (Next Sunday). Our readings today call on us to think about the end of the world and indeed our own end in this world, and our rewards. The image used here is the end of the world of sin. This is what God will destroy in our lives and bring us a new world. This will require patience, tolerance, and lots of suffering. This involves an individual challenge. For this, St Luke says, “Your endurance will win you your lives”. If we sow seeds of light and life, we shall harvest the fruits of eternal light and life and vice versa.
Nothing should distract us from our focus. Remember nothing in this world will last forever, no matter how precious they are to us. Only our faith in Christ will endure forever. Don’t give it up for anything because it is what will win us our lives for eternity. The Psalmist reminds us today, “The Lord comes to rule the peoples with fairness”. Yes, he will come next Sunday to rule as the Universal King of glory.
Remember God loves you
Happy Remembrance Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Monday 33rd week (14th November 2016)
Apocalypse 1:1-4, 2:1-5, Luke 18:35-43
Today we begin reading the last book of the Bible-Apocalypse or Revelation. It will run through these last two weeks of the Church’s year. It is a revelation from God to his people through John. It is addressed to the seven Churches in Ephesus – Today Turkey. They are reminded that their love for the Church has died down even though they worked hard for it. A reminder that we should not relax in our old ways but keep on striving forward towards heaven because our reward is near at hand. Perseverance will pay off.
No doubt, the blind man in the gospel insisted on presenting his needs to Jesus even when he was pushed back and asked to keep quiet. He just needed Jesus to listen to him, and his insistence payed off. Many people might have been pushing you back and discouraging you, keep forging ahead in your faith, because Jesus is about to turn and ask you; “What do you want me to do for you?” What will your immediate response be? If we must think for a while to respond, seemingly, we are not really in desperate need of Jesus as the blind man. The temptation is that there are so many flashy things around us today that we may be tempted to ask from Jesus. Despite all these, let our response be that we want to love him more and more, just as Paul encouraging the Christians of Ephesus.
Let our prayers to Jesus today be that we will love Him more and more every day. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Tuesday 33rd week (15th November 2016)
Apocalypse 3:1-6, 14-22, Luke 19:1-10
As we continue with John’s vision today, we can hear the Lord telling the Churches of Sardis and Laodicea that he knows them well, both their good and bad points – they are accused of their lack of perfection and lukewarm in the faith. The Lord wants them back to the perfect situation and the eagerness they had when they first heard the message. The Lord wants this possible soonest and that is why he came himself; “Look, I am standing at the door, knocking”. The door has no handle from outside and can only be opened from inside. That is the door of our hearts. The mission of Christ is to knock persistently at the door of our heart, for we are the only ones to open from inside to let him in.
Zacchaeus – the tax-collector today in our Gospel opened the door of his own heart for Jesus to come in with his light. Imagine the light Jesus brought to him and his household; “Today, salvation has come to this house…” Not only his household but the community as well. The poor also benefit from Zacchaeus’ conversion. Can you just imagine what you can do to your household and the community at large when you open your heart for the light of Christ? The psalmist today says; “Those who prove victorious, I will allow to share my throne”. Don’t let Jesus stay outside all night again knocking. Its winter and dry in the tropics and too cold for him. Let him in. He trusts in you. Don’t disappoint him.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Wednesday 33rd Week 16th November 2016)
Apocalypse 4:1-11, Luke 19:11-28
John continues today with his vision of the glory of God and the host of heaven giving him praise. Some theological artists have always depicted the four principal animals to refer to the four evangelists – the lion for Mark, the bull for Luke, the human face creature for Matthew and the flying eagle for John. This is to mark the strength of the Gospels in our lives in praising God and giving hope to all who are being persecuted on account of the faith.
The gospel is about a future king who entrusted money to his servants. The first two made some profits and were rewarded while the third was crafty and was punished. Logically from a crafty man’s point of view, why must the servant be punished for not making more money or why should the master not be happy to at least get back his money? But let us remember that this is a parable and the money here represents our faith in which we have the duty to daily build up to grow and help the world too grow in faith.
We have all been given the gift of faith. Don’t bury it somewhere and make the world a poor and sad place. Let your faith grow, otherwise, it will deteriorate and be wasted. So, in all we have been called to do, let us do it joyfully, because God always blesses a joyful and self-giving servant. Lip-service to the Lord will not count for anything.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

NB/ Today is the feast of St Edmund of Abingdon – Joint-Principal patron of the diocese of Portsmouth-England. Celebrated in the diocese as a solemnity.
SEEDS OF THE WORD
Thursday 33rd week (17th November 2016)
Apocalypse 5:1-10, Luke 19:41-44
Our first reading today uses the word scroll seven times. It is an ancient covenantal document with decrees written on both sides, rolled and sealed. John’s vision of it today depicts the Sacred Scriptures which was opened by no one except Christ, whose death, resurrection, and ascension opened access to all the mysteries it contained. Only the Lord could reveal the hidden meaning of the Sacred Word. Hence, the Lamb who was sacrificed – has, by his blood, redeemed us from death and opened the way to salvation for us.
Only on two occasions do scriptures tell us that Jesus shed tears – the death of Lazarus and in today’s gospel – weeping over Jerusalem. Why should Jesus shed tears over Jerusalem? This is due to the people’s stubbornness and blindness who have heard his teachings and seen his miracles and yet fail to see him as their Messiah. Social media today is flooded with unimaginable happenings. Comments usually follow like; “the world is coming to an end, God save us, Lord have mercy…” Love and peace does not live in the air but in individual hearts. If we do not as individuals heed the signs that God is giving us and to live a life of love and peace, then we are pruning ourselves to the danger and tragedy of sin. Hence, Jesus will continue to shed tears.
Today is a call to look at our individual lives to see the little things that make us reject Jesus. Let us ask him to enlighten us to heed to these daily signs we see from God. Once we understand the message of love and peace, then there will be no more tears. Do you agree?
Remember God loves you.
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Friday 33rd week (18th November 2016)
Apocalypse 10:8-11, Luke 19:45-48
John’s vision of heaven continues today with the command to go take the scroll from the angel standing on sea and land and to eat it. It is first a difficult thing to think of eating a scroll. More to that, it tastes sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach. The book of the apocalypse has always been a difficult one to interpret and has caused lots of wrong interpretations and applications. This vision stands for the renewal of John’s prophetic mission to speak the Word of God. The sweetness of the message indicates the promises of hope in eternal life. Meanwhile, the sour taste in the stomach stands for the trials and suffering we encounter in putting God’s word into practice, or before entering the glory of God promised us.
Jesus cleanses the temple today by driving out the money changers. Jesus is appalled that his Father’s house is being turned into a robber’s den. Jesus said, “My house will be a house of prayer”. This might provide a good opportunity to ask ourselves today; What has the Lord to drive out from us to make us better Christians? What stands in my way of being closer to him in the life of every day? This is a moment of individual and internal reflection. Most often, we easily see the wrong of others and not ours.
Let us daily attach ourselves to the Lord so he can do the cleansing of our lives. This will surely be a good transaction with the Lord.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

NB/ Today is the optional memorial of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St Peter and St Paul.
SEEDS OF THE WORD
Saturday 33rd week (19th November 2016)
Apocalypse 11:4-12, Luke 20:27-40
Another twist of John’s vision today is about two witnesses of God – one brings famine and the other plagues. A beast attacks and kills the two witnesses but however restored to life showing that God is more powerful than the powers of evil. This reminds us that there will be time for witnessing to the truth and paying for it with our lives. But this does not end here as the power of God is greater and the promises made to us for his love will be fulfilled.
The Sadducees in the gospel are trying to trap Jesus and make him look stupid. Because they do not believe in the resurrection, they formulate a story but Jesus will not be caught in their games. Jesus tells them that there will not be the same relations after death and resurrection as they were on earth. God is not God of the dead but of the living. Life does not end in death here on earth, but continues in a glorified way in eternity with God. Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
From today’s readings, therefore, it is clear that after this earthly life, our souls go to a place of never-ending life. Perhaps we could ask ourselves today if we are worthy of this never-ending life, and if not, how can we make ourselves more worthy of it? Love of God and love of neighbour. Be merciful to one another as we end the Jubilee Year of Mercy tomorrow. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
King of the Universe (34th Sunday)
20th November 2016
2Samuel 5:1-3, Colossians 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43

Today we close the Church Year with the Solemnity of Christ the King. Throughout this year, we have experienced, the birth, life, message, death and resurrection of Jesus. This year was also very special with the Holy Father dedicating it as the Year of Mercy. It also occasioned the opening of the Door of Mercy which had given the whole Church a moment of grace to experience God’s love and mercy. Having lived in a special way in God’s mercy throughout this year, the Holy Father will be officially closing the Door of Mercy in the Vatican this Sunday. What a moment of grace for the church and all who took advantage of it.
In fact, today’s liturgy sums up some key aspects of why Jesus came among people. He died on the cross for us to show us all the depth of God’s love, his boundless mercy on sinners, the promise of paradise to the crucified criminal, the grace of God that accepts us as brothers and sisters of Jesus and the Father’s children and heirs.
Our celebration today reminds us of the commitment we make at our baptism. That is, a commitment of loyalty to Christ as King of our hearts. How faithful have we been to this?
Pilate and the Jews ignorantly conspired to castigate Christ their king rather than accepting him. As we process round today celebrating and showing Jesus to the World as Universal king, let it not be a mockery as the Jews and the unrepentant criminal did. But rather a genuine celebration of the universal reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Remember God love you
Happy Christ the King celebration
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM)
Monday 34th week (21st November)
Zechariah 2:14-17, Matthew 12:46-50
Today, we celebrate the memorial of the Presentation of the BVM in the temple as a young girl. No information about this is found in scriptures but from an account in the apocryphal Gospel of James. Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne had been childless and praying for a child. The conception of Mary was therefore a heavenly gift. In thanksgiving to God, they brought their child to the temple for consecration, after which, Mary stayed in the temple, dedicating herself to the service of God until puberty.
Today’s celebration reminds us that Mary had been specially chosen to be the mother of God. That is why the readings focus on her Divine Son just as the case with all memorials of Our Lady. The first reading tells us that the Lord is coming to dwell among his people. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that anyone who does the will of God are his real family. What are those aspects in my life that prevent me from doing the will of God?
Dear friends in Christ, let us be reminded today of our own baptism in which we are consecrated to the Lord and become his chosen children. Not only that, but swore to do his will and become his real family.
May Mary our Mother pray for us and help us fulfil this mission. Amen
Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and Stay blessed.
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
St Cecilia (Memorial)
34th week (22nd November)
Apocalypse 14:14-19, Luke 21:5-11
We continue today with John’s vision which tells us about harvesting time. This is harvesting of the earth that will take place at the end of time. Christ is the one who will reap the harvest of those who have been faithful to him. But the unfaithful ones will be placed at the winepress of God’s anger. This is their destruction time and doom.
In the Gospel, Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Many could not understand what Christ was up to, since the Temple was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings. A deeper understanding of Jesus’ words today is that, we not only see the old world dying but a new world coming to birth. Despite our sinfulness, God is constantly re-creating the world until His Kingdom comes. We have just ended the jubilee year of Mercy. Think of the mercy God has showered on us during this year. Even though the Holy Father closed the Holy Door of Mercy, he called for the grace of never closing the doors of reconciliation, but rather of knowing how to go beyond evil and differences, opening every possible pathway of hope. It is in this hope that God constantly wants to renew us. The Church and individuals should respond.
St Cecilia whose memorial we have today was a young woman who was caught in the horror of torture and yet faithful. Can we do the same for Christ?
Sinfulness must eventually give way to holiness. The greatest wonder of the world is the holiness of the Church and its members. Do you want to be part of this movement? The time is now.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed and have a nice day.
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Wednesday 34th week (23rd November 2016)
Apocalypse 15:1-4, Luke 21:12-19
John’s vision today is that of praise and thanksgiving for the mighty name of God. We can imagine the great consolation and encouragement this vision brought to the early Christians. This is because this book was written at the time the early Christians were being persecuted by the Romans. It should also bring consolation to all who are being persecuted today for the sake of Christ. We too shall sing and praise God at the end of time because we have led victorious lives for the faith and the Gospel.
Jesus’ warning in the Gospel to his disciples is an assurance of the hope we live for as Christians. Jesus warns them that they will suffer for him but at the same time he will be with them to strengthen them and to protect them. “I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict”. What an assurance from Christ himself. This protection will be ours also if we are willing to stand up for and witness to the Lord in love, peace, justice, plight of the needy and marginalised, mercy and reconciliation etc.
Christ gave us an example; “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return”. Others may spit at us but we do not spit back. He assures us, “Your endurance will win you your lives”. In fact, Christ endured all the way to the cross and there He won life for us. “How great and wonderful are all your works, Lord God almighty”. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed and nice day.
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Dear English speaking regions of Cameroon, we pray for you at this disturbing moment, and that peace may reign top in whatever strategy we employ to resolve the crisis facing us at moment. Stay safe compatriots.

SEEDS OF THE WORD
St Andrew Dung-Lac & Co. (Memorial)
34th week (24th November 2016)
Apocalypse 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9, Luke 21:20-28
In John’s vision today we read how Babylon-representing the city of Rome and the greatest city of evil has been destroyed by God for its wickedness. This led to the great hymn of praise for the punishment of the city, for our great God judges fairly and punishes justly.
Jesus in the gospel foretells the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the people for their lack of faith and perseverance. He also says that there will be great terrifying and frightening signs. All these are signs of the trials of the Christian life and of the difficult coming of God’s kingdom among us. But let us not forget that we too delay the coming of this kingdom ourselves by our selfishness, hunger for power, injustices, violence and vandalism on the innocent, and all the other evils caused on others. But remember, it’s not all lost. Our meagre efforts can still bring salvation nearer. With the help of Christ present among us, we can grow in love, forgiveness, compassion and peace.
Let us pray for this salvation through the intercession of St Andrew Dung-Lac and companions, whose memorial we celebrate today, martyred during the Vietnam persecutions. Rather than renounce their faith, the chose to suffer countless suffering and dreadful torture. Stand erect, hold your heads high because your liberation is near at hand. May we too be inspired by their example. Amen.
Remember God loves you
Stay blessed and nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

SEEDS OF THE WORD
Friday 34th week (25th November 2016)
Apocalypse 20:1-4, 11-21:2, Luke 21:29-33
As we continue with the book of Apocalypse today, John gives us an optimistic vision of the future, where the sovereignty of God will last forever while the enemy is destroyed. It is God and the Lamb of God that will give us a wonderfully fertile and lasting life.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that even if the heaven and earth pass away his words will remain for ever. This was a promise made by Jesus, and we are sure it will be fulfilled. But today we are faced with the painful realities of broken promises, which may seem to make us lose the impact and significance of Jesus’ promise. How faithful have we been to our own promises? What about our baptismal promises? However, the challenge to believe in Jesus’ promise remains as we keep fighting the good fight and running the race even when we cannot see the finish line. If we keep to this and remain faithful to him we shall enjoy his eternal sovereignty. Let us remember that it is God who is making a promise to us His people and will fulfil it. Not man. For our part, we just have to keep on believing and trusting in God always.
Let us remember that though we may falter, God is always faithful. We too in our little acts of faithfulness can bring down mountains. God is watching.
Remember God loves you and remain blessed this day.
Fr Thom Amungwa

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