Seeds of the Word – Reflections + PRAYERS for CAMEROON PLEASE

SEEDS OF THE WORD   

Cameroon: The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon which started last year November 2016 is still persisting. Thanks for all your prayers on Sunday 1st October when the Anglophones took to the streets to celebrate what they call independence day. That region gain its independence from the British on 1st October 1961 by uniting with La Republic du Cameroun which had got its independence a year earlier(1st January 1960). This union was to exist as a Federated State but unlawfully abrogated in 1972 into a unitary state. This is the core of the Anglophone crisis who no longer cherish the union with French Speaking Cameroon. The peaceful march and of 1st October 2017 was met with brutality from the Forces of Law and Order where some arrests and deaths were recorded. The Anglophone towns are still heavily militarised with constant attacks  and brutalisation on unarmed civilians. Please, kindly, continue to pray for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.  

 

4th Sunday of Lent – B (11th March 2018)
‘Rejoice (Laetare) Sunday’
Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23, Ephesians 2:4-10, John 3:14-21

There is a Church in Switzerland with a mighty crucifix by the pulpit. The story goes that the priest was preaching one day and to his amazement discovered a very important king was in Church. Suddenly, the priest started preaching about the king in Church. Hence, the king donated this huge crucifix to the Church to be put by the pulpit as a reminder to the priest to preach Christ and not the king.

Today begins the 4th week of Lent in a very spectacular way, as the Church asks us to rejoice in the hope of our salvation. The exile and liberation of Israel alluded in the first reading is the image of God’s wrath and mercy to his people. St Paul gives a similar image in the 2nd reading, when he refers to us as being dead through sin but brought to new life again with Christ. The gospel encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus reminds us that, our fall from grace can only be restored when the Son of man is lifted up on the Cross.

Our readings therefore remind us that the Cross of Christ is our only hope of salvation. This is the source of the great joy the Church calls us to rejoice about today. The Cross and NOT the king is what we should preach daily in our lives. This is summarised in God’s commandment of love given through his Son Jesus Christ; “For, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life”.

Though still on our Lenten journey, let us rejoice because grace has been made available and our salvation is close at hand (cf. James 5:8). What we simply need to do is, believe and live the good life which God created us to live. Good life means living as faithful children of God, living for God day by day, time after time and minute by minute. Only through this can our joy be complete in Jesus name.

Let us join today’s psalmist to declare; “O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not!”. Amen.

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


3rd Sunday of Lent (4th March 2018)
Exodus 20:1-17, 1Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25

If a Christian comes to Mass on Sundays but for the rest of the week doesn’t care about Christ, but cheats in business, lies, shows no love, then the religion of this person is not genuine. Our Lord tells us today that true religion, worship in spirit and in truth, unifies our lives in such a way that there is no part reserved for God and another part for ourselves only: God is to be present in all we do, Christ is our companion in all of our life.

In the first reading, the ‘Law’ was given to Moses on Mount Sinai as ethical and moral principles to form the Israelites as God’s people and help them become wiser. Also, to help strengthen their relationship with God and organize their social and religious lives. The ‘Law’ is not just a series of proscriptions but a treaty whereby God himself enters into a covenant as the protector of his people.

For St Paul, Christ is the power and the wisdom of God through whom the ‘New Law’ is given and he himself is the fulfilment of that Law. No one who finds and receives Christ will ever walk in ignorance/darkness. Whoever rejects Christ, the fulness of wisdom, even though he walks according to the wisdom of this world, lives in darkness.

In the gospel, Jesus purifies the temple by sending out all who are profaning it; “Stop turning my Father’s house into a market”. This reminds us to empty of ourselves all that make us impure and fill ourselves with the love of God.

On this 3rd Sunday of Lent, we are once more challenged to examine our lives in the light of the Ten Commandments. Let our Sinfulness be turned into Holiness, so as to win the glory promised us. May we daily turn to the Lord as today’s psalmist reminds us; “You, Lord have the message of eternal life”. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa


2nd Sunday of Lent – Year B (25th February 2018)
Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18, Romans 8:31-34, Mark 9:2-10

We begin today the 2nd week of our Lenten journey with Jesus, who is revealed to us through his Transfiguration as the Son of God. It was a wonderful experience for the three apostles who were there, so much such that Peter cried out; ‘Lord, it is wonderful for us to be here’. Yes, the glory of God is wonderful. To achieve it, God demands only one thing from us; “Listen to Jesus”. How much do we listen to Jesus through his Church? Most often, we listen to ourselves.

In the first reading God put Abraham to the test by commanding him to offer his son Isaac. Abraham was faithful, and God prevented the sacrifice of Isaac. The lessons here are;

  • Abraham was attentive to God’s word and obeyed it
  • He trusted God
  • He showed his generosity towards God.

For this, God’s command calls us this Lenten season to ‘Listen to Jesus’.

Listening to Jesus will require transforming our lives and changing our evil ways for. It means loving according to the Good News we hear every day. Again, it means, obeying his will and paying attention to what the Church teaches. It will not go without trial moments and difficulties. Christ only attained the future glory shown today after his suffering and crucifixion. Hence, no shortcut to glory.

If we continue to listen to Jesus, irrespective of the hurdles we go through in life, then, we too shall attain the glory which he showed the apostles today. Then, as today’s psalmist tells us; We too will be walking in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice 2nd Sunday of Lent
Fr Thom Amungwa


1st Sunday of Lent – B (18th February 2018)
Genesis 9:8-15, 1Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15

Jesus was ready to give up his own divine life for our sake out of love for you and me. How much do we give up daily for the sake of him who gave so much for our sake? There comes a time we need to reciprocate this love in praying, fasting and almsgiving.

As we begin our Lenten preparation for the celebration of Easter, we are reminded of the reason behind this time. In the first reading we see God talking with Noah and making a new covenant with him, and not just with him but with all of creation right down to our own time. The rainbow in the sky is a reminder of that covenant. In the second reading St Peter reminds us that the waters of baptism save far more than were saved by the ark in Noah’s time. We read very briefly in St Mark’s gospel of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness and how he did not succumb to Satan’s promises.

After the desert experience scene, Jesus began preaching repentance for the sake of the kingdom. We know that what awaits us is a much greater promise than awaited Noah and so we should use this time well by examining our own life and making sure that it is in keeping with the covenant.

Make today a day of gratitude. It is easy to complain about what you don’t have or what you wish you had. However, think about all you do have – not just material possessions, but things that are priceless, perhaps your family and friends, your health or your faith. Thank God for being our Good Shepherd and the source of our every need, leading us to eternal life. May our own desert experience lead us to a daily conversion and triumph over evil. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice first Sunday of Lent
Fr Thom Amungwa


6th Sunday in OT (11th February 2018)
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46, 1Corinthians 10:31-11:1, Mark 1:40-45

The message of this 6th Sunday in OT is that, the Lord Jesus touched with his healing power even the untouchable. Today, let each of us reflect how often in life Jesus has touched us. He touched us with his love in baptism when he saved us from our isolation and gave us the Christian community to live in. He touched us each time he came to us in the eucharist to speak to us and give us his body. He touches us often with his healing forgiveness, with his consolation in moments of distress, with his strength when we are timid, with his wisdom when we are confused. But do we let him touch us? And do we touch one another with healing care?

In today’s first reading, we see Moses instructing that those suffering from leprosy must live as outcasts and that the priest must declare them as outcasts. While they were to live apart to prevent the spread of diseases, it was never decreed that they be treated shamefully. In the gospel, we see Jesus – the eternal high priest, touching and curing a man of his leprosy and bringing him back into society while Christ himself lives as an outcast. The reading is a reminder that the gospel and the love of God are inclusive and that everyone has a place in the kingdom. St Paul in the second reading advises that we should model ourselves on Christ and never do any harm to anyone no matter what they believe. As Christ brought outcasts back into society, so we too should have genuine concern for those who are outcasts in our own society.

As we celebrate today World Day of the Sick, let us seek ways to reach outside of our comfortable worshiping communities to the sick and those who feel themselves to be socially excluded just as Jesus did today. By this, we too will be building the kingdom of God. Let us therefore praise God in the words of today’s psalmist: “You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation”.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa


5th Sunday in OT (4th February 2018)
Job 7:1-4, 6-7, 1Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23, Mark 1:29-39

Our world is full of suffering and pain, many are in agony and distress and are victims of exploitation and injustice. We feel powerless in the face of all this. Today, we are reminded that we are not alone: God does not want us to suffer: In his Son Jesus, he showed us that he commits himself against death and misery, for Jesus went around healing people and overcame death by rising.

As disciples of Jesus, we are called have to follow in the footsteps of Christ and bring healing to one another and to our world. Today’s readings therefore speak of the healing and freedom brought to us by Christ and his gospel.

In the first reading, Job likens man’s life to being little more than a slave who awaits his wages and had nothing else to look forward to. In the gospel we read about Jesus curing people and preaching the Good News to them. The crowds follow him wherever he goes because his words bring healing and freedom to them.

Today, we do not have Christ with us in the same way as the people in the gospel had. But we do have him present in our tabernacles and present in the words of Sacred Scripture. We are challenged today to listen to the words of Christ and to put our trust in them, knowing that they will bring us healing and comfort and free us from all that would enslave us in this life.

St Paul reminds us in the second reading that, he preaches the gospel in order to set others free, even though he doesn’t get paid for it and has, in a certain sense, become the slave of all. For all the love we receive daily, may we praise the Lord who heals the broke-hearted. Amen

Remember God loves you
Have nice Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa


4th Sunday in OT – B (28th January 2017)
To be dispatched.


3rd Sunday in OT – B (21st January 2017)
Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 1Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20

There is an old proverb; “Do not postpone until tomorrow what you can do today”. Unfortunately, we often do the opposite, saying that there will be time enough tomorrow. God’s word, though, keeps urging us: The time to do the things of God is now. The time to change is urgent. Repent now, be converted now, God and his kingdom are here with you now, with the Lord among us here we ask him to make us listen now to his Good News and to make it come true among us now.

Our readings today call on us to repent and to change our ways. They remind us that the pleasures of this earthly life are constantly changing and that only the Word of God can bring us everlasting happiness.

In the first reading, the prophet Jonah is sent to Nineveh and he preached a very brief sermon: ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed’, and the people believed and changed their ways. In the gospel, Jesus began his public ministry with the words; “The kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News”. He then went on to call his first disciples who will assist him in his mission.

By virtue of our baptism we are each called to serve the Lord as did the people of Nineveh and the first disciples. We are challenged to say the words of today’s psalm with conviction: “Lord, make me know your ways”. Hence, St Paul in the second reading continues to encourage us to dedicate ourselves to the Lord so that we will inherit eternal life.

Christians should be the happiest people because Christ has won our lives for us. In appreciation, we can only repent and show our belief in the truth of the Christian gospel, and live as true Christians who are on their way to heaven. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa


2nd Sunday in OT – Year B (14th January 2018)
Samuel 3:3-10, 19, 1Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20, John 1:35-42

Have we Christians really encountered the Lord? Certainly, we believe in him, we pray to him, we hear his message proclaimed Sunday after Sunday, and have perhaps read the gospel in private. But how do we encounter the Lord in person? It is only in a personal encounter that a deep understanding, a warm relationship with him and a real sense of our mission in life can be born and developed.

Our readings for this Sunday focus on answering God’s call to be his follower and disciples. In today’s first reading, we see the call of Samuel where he initially thought it was Eli calling him until Eli realised it was God doing the calling. Eli told Samuel to answer with the words; “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening”. In the gospel, Andrew became the Lord’s first disciple, and brought his brother, Peter, to the Lord with the words; “We have found the Messiah”. Can we think of instances when we also found the Messiah? What was my response?

As Christians, we believe that we have been called, and that we are following the Lord, however falteringly or hesitantly. It is a call to a personal meeting which we should also proclaim to others just as Andrew did to his brother, Peter; “We have found the Messiah”. St Paul advices in today’s second reading that our bodies make up part of Christ’s mystical body, hence, we should dedicate ourselves to the building up of the kingdom. Let us today accept his invitation to ‘come and see’ what he has to offer us and asking of us, and he will show us where he lives and what he expects of us. Amen.

“Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will” (Psalm).

Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa


The Epiphany of the Lord (7th January 2018)
Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6, Matthew 2:1-12

We are now almost getting back into our normal routine of activities with the presumption that the Christmas festivities and holidays are over. But today we celebrate the great feast of the Epiphany – from a Greek word meaning, ‘Manifestation’ or ‘Revelation’. On this feast, God reveals himself to the gentile world because of love. Epiphany actually ends the Christmas season, but Christ continues to be with us in our everyday life and experiences.

This feast of the Epiphany, which is the visit of the three Kings from the east, is full of many lessons for us to learn.

  • The first lesson for us today is that, we must always make genuine and sincere worship to God just as the three kings came to offer Christ a genuine worship as the King of kings. It must come from our hearts, and not be like the proposed false worship of king Herod.
  • Secondly, we must be ready to offer something precious as the three kings did. We must not appear before the Lord empty handed. The most precious gift to offer the Lord for his goodness to us is ourselves. This entails the gift of good life, love, obedience, humility, peace to our families and the gift of sacrifice for one another.
  • The third lesson is that we must continue to follow the star and the light of Christ. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived or distracted on our journey by the Herods of this world. We will encounter difficulties, but we must stay focused on the star trusting that God through his Church will not mislead us.

Let us continue to make the Magi our models in life, as we follow them to Bethlehem so often. When we face difficulties in life, we must wait for the star to reappear and show us the way we must proceed. Let the light of Christ continue to illumine our way of life this New Year. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy feast of the Epiphany
Fr Thom A


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.