Seeds of the Word – Daily Reflections in Ordinary Time


Tuesday 8th week in OT (28th February 2017)
‘Shrove Tuesday’
Ecclesiasticus 35:1-15, Mark 10:28-31

Tuesday before that start of Lent (Ash Wednesday) has traditionally been referred to as ‘Shrove Tuesday’. Shrove is the past tense of ‘Shrive’; meaning, ‘To hear the confession of a penitent’. This was the day for penitents to receive this sacrament in preparations for the Lenten season beginning next day. Some also referred to this day as ‘Pancake Day’ to use up the eggs and fat which were originally prohibited articles of diet during the forty days of Lent. In a nutshell, today is preparations day. What preparations have I done for the Lenten journey starting tomorrow?

Today’s first reading reminds us to always honour the Lord with a generous heart. All we have comes from him and therefore we should share with others, so that, they too may feel the love of God through us. Ben Sirach further warns, let our generosity not be for any public show but must be genuine. Jesus captures this in the gospel that, any genuine sacrifice for his sake and that of the kingdom will be rewarded a hundred-fold.

As we prepare to begin this Lenten journey tomorrow with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads, it would be good to remind ourselves of a Jewish practice. To be a good Jew was to spend your life obeying God and his covenant, giving alms, and refraining from evil. This is also the mark of a good Christian today. Where do we find ourselves? It would be good meditating on these today and see how it takes us through the period of Lent.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice ‘Shrove Tuesday’
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 8th Week in OT (27th February 2017)
Ecclesiasticus 17:20-28, Mark 10:17-27

If one were to make a census to know what people want in life, it would be interesting to know the answers. One will obviously hear things like; I want to be a doctor, pilot, great sportsman/woman, a good job, very rich etc. I wonder how many will say they just want to find meaning in life and be God fearing.

Our first today encourages us to turn away from sin and return to God especially when losing hope in life. God will always welcome us back when we seek him. The psalmist reminds us that the man whose sin is forgiven by the Lord will live in happiness. Am sure we all desire to be happy. So too is the rich young man in the gospel who came to Jesus asking; ‘Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ In other words, the man wanted happiness. Jesus asked him to keep the commandments and to love his neighbour as himself. But he found it difficult to detach himself from his riches and material wealth.

Material wealth may make our life comfortable but it does not bring the happiness which Christ offers to those who believe in him. We still need material things to live but we must never hold a greater affection for them in our hearts than we hold for Christ. True happiness lies in dedicating ourselves to the service of God and of others for the sake of the kingdom. Let us daily find meaning in life by keeping God’s commandments and when we fail, make the effort to come back, because when the meaning of life is lost, then everything is lost. Amen.

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

8th Sunday in OT (26th February 2017)
Isaiah 49:14-15, 1Corinthians 4:1-5, Matthew 6:24-34

This 8th Sunday is the last in Ordinary Time as we break off for Lent only to resume again in June with 9th week after PentecostSunday. Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday leading to the Easter celebrations. This 8th Sunday brings out the ordinary day events of Jesus’ life, unlike Lent which focuses on a particular mystery of our salvation. Hence, Jesus’ 40days in the wilderness, passion, death and resurrection.

Just like last Sunday, today’s readings again speak of God’s love for us and how he is always watching over us. The first reading from Isaiah tells us that the Lord never forgets us, just as a mother who always cherishes her children. This is echoed in the gospel, where Christ is telling his disciples not to worry about tomorrow or where our next meal will come from, for God will always look after those who believe and call on him for help. The second reading reminds us that while God is always there to help us in times of need he is also there as our judge and it is to him that we must answer for our lack of belief and our wrong doings.

The Church today wants us to know that, in all our worries and cares, we can, and should put our trust in God. Be certain of the Lord today, not tomorrow. God cannot forget us; we are worth very much in his eyes and he loves us deeply. We are forever engraved in the palm of his hands. So, why should we worry? Let us learn to trust God and his kingdom, so that we are able to become aware of the relative value of our worries. Why not proclaim with the Psalmist in today’s Responsorial Psalm; “In God alone is my soul at rest”. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday
Fr Thom Amungwa

Saturday 7th week in OT (25th February 2017)
Ecclesiasticus 17:1-13, Mark 10:13-16

Ben Sirach in our first reading today re-echoes the creation story of Genesis that, we are created in the image and likeness of God, given knowledge and authority over all other creatures. Hence, God made a covenant with us his people, and gave us one warning to “Beware of all wrong-doing”. We are warned not to fall into sin because, all that we do is seen by him. How faithful have we been to this?

In the gospel, Jesus who, humanly speaking rarely gets angry, tells off his disciples to let the children come to him. This is for a purpose in which Jesus used their childlike qualities of humility, obedience and trust to teach us. Hence, “Anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”. Did we hear that?

As God’s creatures created in his image and likeness, we need to commit our love for him and focus on the kingdom he has destined for us all. Here, Jesus says we must welcome the kingdom of God into our hearts and lives as little children welcome something that has been given to them. If we open ourselves to the Lord like little children, we will attain the promise made us at creation and repeated by Christ. A childlike friendship with God is one which is humble, obedient and trusting.

We can only pray with the words of the psalmist in today’s liturgy; “The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear”. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Friday 7th week in OT (24th February 2017)
Ecclesiasticus 6:5-17, Mark 10:1-12

No man is an island just as God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone’. We daily encounter people we call our friends. Have we ever bothered to make a strict scrutiny of those we call our friends? I remember a famous Cameroonian musician of the yesteryears who sang about the so many friends he had when he was rich but when he became poor, all his friends abandoned him. Have you ever had such a friend or are you one of such? Do we know who are our fair-weather friends and who are the faithful ones?

Our first reading today, gives an instruction about finding a faithful friend. Ben Sirach tells us that a faithful friend is one who stands by us no matter what and is called ‘a rare treasure’. We all know that we can only find a perfect friend in Jesus because he is the only friend who can never fail us. Apart from Jesus, we need physical friends here on earth. Ben Sirach advices that, ‘Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends’. In as much as we look for a true and faithful friend, the question comes back to us in that, are we also a true and faithful friend?

In the gospel, Jesus makes it clear that in marital relationship, spouses are to be the best of friends, where there is no divorce. That is how God had made it from the beginning. Hence, Jesus said, “The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her” and vice versa. We can only find good friends by making good friends with the fear of God. We can only pray for the Lord to guide us in his commands as the psalmist tells us today.

Remember God loves you all
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Thursday 7th week in OT (23rd February 2017)
Memorial of St Polycarp (Bishop & Martyr)
Ecclesiasticus 5:1-8, Mark 9:41-50

Time is what we seek daily. It is a daily generous gift. Every day we are given 24hours. We are expected to plan profitably or otherwise for it. Only humans have this privilege because we are created in the image and likeness of God.

Ben Sirach advices in the first reading that we shouldn’t delay our return to the Lord. In other words, do not spend time on ill-gotten gains that will not profit you at the end of time, but spend time doing what is right and remaining close to the Lord always. The gospel continues with the same theme, advising us to always do what is right. In summary, “If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward”. Precious and profitable time is spent doing good.

Let us be vigilant today to see beyond our environment those in need. They must not be our families and relatives. They may not even be Christians. Every little act of welcome will bring us closer to attaining our place in heaven. Let us ask the Lord to grant us his peace so that we will live in peace with the Lord and with one another. May he cleanse our hearts, for from the bounty of the heart, the mouth speaks and the hands act. Let us not delay for the time to do it is now. In a way, the time is now or never. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Wednesday 7th week in OT (22nd February 2017)
Feast of the Chair of St Peter
1Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19

One of the prominent features of the Catholic Church is its unity, as seen in its worship, teachings and generally in its practices. The Pope as its head stands as a symbol of this unity. He is the successor of St Peter; the first head appointed by Christ himself. The feast of the Chair of St. Peter is not so much of Peter’s personality but an affirmation of the authority given him by Jesus to lead the Church on earth. Jesus said: You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.

The Church in its 2000 years of history has seen glorious, challenging, turbulent times and dark moments. But the very fact that the Church has survived these turbulent and dark moments only goes to show that the Pope draws his authority from Christ, and that the Spirit is guiding the Church.

Nonetheless, the authority and leadership of the Pope is always being challenged. In the area of morality, issues like abortion, the sanctity of life, same-sex marriage have often been brought up to ridicule and criticize the Church and inevitably the Pope. In the area of faith, heresies and schisms have undermined the authority of the Pope.

It should be noted that the Pope and the Church have suffered both from within and without the Church. Yet in the midst of these criticisms and confusion, let us continue to keep faith with the Church and in obedience to the Pope. Let us remember what Jesus promised the Church: The gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. Let us also remember to pray for the Pope and the leaders of the Church.

May we continue to be united and not give room for detractors. May our unity be inspiring to bring more into the fold. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy feast day to Pope Francis and to all.
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 7th week in OT (21st February 2017)
Ecclesiasticus 2:1-13, Mark 9:30-37

Today’s Responsorial Psalm says; “Commit your life to the Lord, trust him and he will act”. I find this a synopsis of today’s readings. The Christians life is one modelled after the example of Christ, who tells us his followers to be ready to carry our cross after him.

Our first reading tells us that if we aspire to serve the Lord, then we must be ready for an ordeal because those who serve the Lord are not always welcome in society. We find this evident both in the Old and New Testaments, not forgetting our own present times. To serve the Lord as we are called to do, means a radical change in our lives and this confronts others who should also change their lives. The author of the book of Ecclesiasticus (Ben Sirach) reminds us to trust in God for he will help us. He also says our true worth is found in suffering and tested as gold in the fire. The way to Christ is no easy path. It is the way of the cross.

In our gospel passage, Jesus is telling the disciples of his impending suffering, death and resurrection though they fail to understand what he is saying. They cannot understand how and why Jesus should suffer and die. Do we understand today either? We Catholics always begin our prayers with the sign of the cross. Do we understand the cross, especially when it weighs on our own shoulders?

Lord Jesus, help me today to accept my cross after your example and not shy from it when it is laid upon my shoulder. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 7th week in OT (20th February 2017)
Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10, Mark 9:14-29

One of man’s innate desire is to seek knowledge. We seek this knowledge, to open our horizon to what life is all about; knowing where we are coming from and where we are going to. We can seek all the knowledge with all the highest degrees obtained in the class room but one thing we may never obtain from the classroom is wisdom. One does not need higher studies to be wise.

Our first reading today from the book of Ecclesiasticus tells us today that, ‘All wisdom is from the Lord, and it is his own forever’. No matter what we mortals may do, we may never comprehend all wisdom because only one person is truly wise – The Lord. Hence, if we truly desire to be wise, it is necessary that we come before the Lord in humility and in reverence. This is only through prayer. The disciples struggled to heal a boy possessed with the spirit of dumbness to no avail because they did not pray. Jesus told his disciples in today’s gospel to pray before embarking on any task, because, prayer heals. The Lord of all wisdom will bless us with wisdom and give success to the work of our hands.

In all our daily struggles, difficult and challenging situations in life, we remember that prayer is the key. Once prayer leads the way, our faith will be strengthened and we will be healed, and in turn heal others. It should be noted that prayer begins with words and ends with works. Let Jesus continue to be the central of our lives, and delivery us from all evil. Amen.

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

7th Sunday in OT (19th February 2017)
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18, 1 Corinthians 3:16-23, Matthew 5:38-48

Man has the natural tendency of hatred, rivalry or revenge. This falls in line with the Old Testament law advocating ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. Christ’s coming brought a new era, where Christian are called to be makers and sowers of peace by forgiving and forgetting hurt, even to our enemies, and so, breaking the vicious circle of evil. Our readings this Sunday talk of LOVE

Today’s first reading and the gospel speak of love. While the first reading tells us; ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’, Jesus in the gospel takes it to another level by saying; ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’. Hence, there is no room for the old law; ‘An eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth’, because, it will not lead to the peace Christ seeks to establish. St Paul continues to instruct his Corinthian converts today not to indulge in divisions arising amongst them. They should all remain united in love under the One Godhead to whom they all belong. This is also a message for us Christians today. Created in the image and likeness of God, we are supposed to image God in Love because ‘God is Love.

This Love message given us for this Sunday’s Liturgy aims at refreshing our understanding of true love after the example of Christ. He preached and lived true love, leaving us an example to follow; ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’. If we can daily make these words our own, then, we will see true love, peace and tolerance in our today’s broken world.

Finally, the psalmist reminds us today; ‘The Lord is compassion and love… and rich in mercy. May we too practice these three attributes of God in our daily lives.

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

Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday
Fr Thom Amungw

Saturday 6th week in OT (18th February 2017)
Hebrews 11:1-7, Mark 9:2-13

The key word of our first reading today is ‘Faith’ which appears ten times in the reading. Faith is believing in what we cannot see and hoping in what cannot be fully explained. It is a gift from God to let us experience a mystery that is revealed and yet keeps revealing.

Our first reading makes it clear that it is only by faith that we can please the Father and become one with Him. Abel, Enoch and Noah are cited examples of people who pleased God, believed in Him and were rewarded with His justice. Are we too people of faith, offering the sacrifice that God wants, obedient to the Word of God, and offering service to the least of our brethren?

In the gospel, Jesus brought the faith of his disciples to a different level when they saw a glimpse of the mystery of his transfiguration. There are many things in our faith we too do not understand. We only need to let Jesus’ light shine in us and dispel our darkness and bring us too to a different level of our faith. we also hear God’s voice testifying to Jesus and commanding us; “Listen to Him”.

Jesus is the only reality we are to perceive the world through, and to follow him, even if we do not understand what it means to follow him. Let us give thanks to God and hold firm to our faith. With faith, we will be able to see beyond the ordinary, a mystery in which God reveals himself and will keep revealing himself to us. Let’s be people of faith and to believe in God without hesitation. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Enjoy the rest of the weekend
Fr Thom Amungwa

Friday 6th week in OT (17th February 2017)
Genesis 11:1-9, Mark 8:34-9:1

The Tower of Babel myth as recorded in our first reading today is describing a people who wanted to be in direct contact with the gods by building a tower that will reach heaven. This was an act of pride to challenge God and make a name for themselves. The Lord himself came down and destroyed the tower and scattered a united people who had one language.

It suggests here that God scattered the people as punishment of their pride to challenge Him. They forgot that unless the Lord build’s the house, in vain do its builder’s labour (cf Psalm 127:1). It is also suggested that this story was trying to explain the origins of the diversity of languages in the world. In every respect, we see that true and lasting unity can only come from God.

Today, the world finds itself in the crossroads of seeking peace through warfare. God has been relegated to the background and not given the chance to be God. No military might has ever brought peace, less to talk of man’s pride which is the beginning of his fall. Today, our world continues to decay into wars and destruction. This downward trend needs God’s intervention which can only come through our human hearts. Let God again take control of our lives.

Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel; “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself, take up his cross and follow me”. If we cannot learn from Jesus our Master and Teacher about the meaning and purpose of life, then all our learning and knowledge might be in vain. Let us surrender our pride and pick up our faith. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice Friday

Thursday 6th week in OT (16th February 2017)
Genesis 9:1-13, Mark 8:27-33

Yesterday, we read about the end of Noah’s forty days stay in the Ark and his thanksgiving to God. Today, God blesses Noah and his sons saying to them; ‘Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth’. God also made many covenants with Noah and warned that; ‘He who sheds man’s blood, shall have his own blood shed by man’. This call is in respect of our God-given human life, which only Him can take away.

It is not uncommon today to see how lives are taken away with impunity, even when some are fighting for justice. Humans slaughtered and others brutally killed. In all these, God says, everyone will account for every human blood we are guilty of. Our Lord and God, who look down from heaven and earth, touch our hearts this day to see the value of human life and respect it.

Jesus tells his disciples in the gospel that he is to suffer grievously, and this upsets Peter who tries to prevent the Lord from going to Jerusalem. Jesus rebukes him saying, ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ Note that Jesus just acknowledge Peter a while ago after Peter’s great profession of faith; ‘You are the Christ’. Christ is the eternal covenant which surpasses all covenants. We are called on to have faith in him as did St Peter and to say with him every day: You are the Christ’.

God’s love for us is seen in Jesus Christ who endured every pain for our salvation. We learn from Jesus that pain and hardship is part of life and often the way to life and joy. We pray for all who have suffered for others.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Wednesday 6th week in OT (15th February 2017)
Genesis 8:6-13, 20-21, Mark 8:22-26

“A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord”. This is the Responsorial Psalm of today’s liturgy, which summarises our readings today; Thanksgiving to God.

The first reading from the book of Genesis forms the last episode of Noah in the Ark. Noah received signs of the end of the flood and came out on dry ground, built an altar, and choosing from the clean birds, in thanksgiving, made a burnt offering for the Lord on the altar. Jesus in the gospel cured a blind man who now saw clearly, as a sign to announce the mystery of redemption. Jesus here aims to sharpen our vision to recognise him as Messiah and to always come to him in thanksgiving and love.

In our daily experience and interaction, how often do we come to Jesus in thanksgiving for some achievement. If not for any achievement, at least for our lives and for the air we breathe. Today is just one day after Valentine’s day where our expressions of love are still fresh in many hearts for those who exchanged the gestures of love yesterday. Today is an opportunity for thanksgiving to God for yesterday and praying for better days. Have you thanked God?

One of the attributes of love is patience. Yes, God is surely patient with us for being so slow to see his love for us and so quick to sin and turn away from him. May we not delay to come back to him in thanksgiving daily for all his love for us. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Enjoy the rest of the day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 6th week in OT (14th February 2017)
Feast of SS Cyril & Methodius (Patrons of Europe)
Acts 13:46-49, Luke 10:1-9

Many places celebrate today as a Memorial or even Optional Memorial. But it’s a feast in Europe for the fact that these are co-patrons of Europe. Our readings are taken from the feast.

Cyril the monk and his brother Methodius (bishop), were born about 825 in Thessalonica, but educated at Constantinople. They were great missionaries from the Eastern Church and evangelized in Bulgaria, Moravia and in Bohemia. They also had lots of influence in the evangelization of Europe. The Slavonic alphabet called ‘Cyrillic’ was created by them, which they used to translate the scriptures and prepared liturgies in Slavonic, which in no less sense was Inculturation. Even though it met with much opposition, Rome approved of it. Pope John Paul II declared them co-patrons of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.

Whenever the Church celebrates the feast of a saint, she reminds us of our own faith and the dedication we make to keep our faith alive. God has made a path for us all to sainthood and we only need to listen to his directions in life. Once we stop listening to God, we start listening to the devil who can only lead us and many others to destruction.

Our gospel reminds us of Jesus sending out the seventy-two disciples on the mission of evangelisation, because the harvest is rich but the labourers are few. If we listen to God’s voice on that mission, many will be cured in his name and many more will repent, and believe the Kingdom of God is near at hand. We pray that the examples of SS Cyril and Methodius whose feast we celebrate today may inspire us with their own good example. Amen

Remember God loves you
Happy feast day to all in Europe
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 6th week in OT (13th February 2017)
Genesis 4:1-15, 25, Mark 8:11-13

Jealousy is an emotion in which one feels insecure or show concern and anxiety over some loss of status, which one feels should belong to him. It is a strong sign that we are not satisfied with what God has given us. Hence, the desire to possess what others have been given or desire to be like them. The Church classifies jealousy as one of the seven deadly sins. Can you recall any aspect of life you have been guilty of jealous? It is a human trait, and we cannot deny the fact that we all, most often, portray some degree of jealousy. It is not a modern issue, but can be traced from the first descendants of Adam and Eve.

Our first reading tells us that Adam and Eve left the garden after the fall and had their first children Cain and Abel. We are told Abel prospered more than Cain, and out of jealousy, Cain killed Abel. In the gospel, Jesus is again in conflict with the Pharisees who still demanded for a sign from Jesus to believe. This demand was a sign of their jealousy. Their thoughts portrayed their hearts.

Similarly, it is good to always check our thoughts, words and actions. They sometimes portray some degree of our jealousy, because they are signs of what is happening in us. Let us be more conscious of these signs within us, and reflect upon them in our prayer for God’s grace to always deliver us from them. May jealousy or envy never be part of our daily lives in Jesus name. Amen.

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

6th Sunday in OT (Year A)
Ecclesiasticus 15:16-20, 1Corinthians 2:6-10, Matthew 5:17-37

Law is a set of rules, a binding force to regulate the functioning of things and people. There are different types of laws like divine, natural, driving, etc. The Church today through the readings remind us about God’s law.

The first reading reminds us, ‘If you wish, you can keep the commandments’. God gives us a choice to accept or reject his commandments, but we should know we are responsible for whatever decision we take. St Paul tells us that the law of Christ is wisdom and to obey this wisdom is the wisest thing to do. This is because, this wisdom is divinely inspired. Jesus in the Gospel tells us that he has come not to abolish the law but to complete it. The context here was to remind the Jews that they have gone astray in observing the law. We too sometimes go astray in the law and therefore need this reminder as well. We can be true to ourselves and gain eternal life if we take on board the true message and wisdom of Christ and live that out in our daily lives.

It is not uncommon today to see how people obey laws in a manner one could term ‘sheepishly’. This is lack of common sense. Christ once said, ‘The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath’. Every law should have the spirit of the law. It should aim to serve man and not the other way around. All laws should be divinely inspired, otherwise, we become slaves to the law. Put on a human heart in creating or enforcing any law, and bring happiness to those who keep the law. What is your approach to the law of God? How does it influence and affect your life?

The psalmist tells us today, “They are happy who follow God’s law!” May Jesus come to us daily and help us in our fundamental moral principle of life; To always do good and avoid evil. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy weekend
Fr Thom Amungwa

Saturday 5th week in OT (11th February 2017)
Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Genesis 3:9-24, Mark 8:1-10

In 1858, the Immaculate Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, near Lourdes in France, in the cavern called ‘de Massabielles’. Through this poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Mary call on sinners to change their lives. She has inspired in the Church a great love of prayer and good works, especially in the service of the poor and the sick. Many flog to Lourdes daily for this pilgrimage of healing and many undoubtedly have been healed.

It is for this same reason that John Paul II initiated this day in 1992 as world day for the sick, to encourage people to pray for those who suffer from illness and for their carers. It should be noted that the Pope himself had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s the previous year. Similarly, Pope Benedict also announced his decision to resign from his post as Pope on this day in 2013 for reasons of his failing health.

We are also called to make this day significant by our special prayer for the sick. Why don’t you visit the sick and bring a smile on their faces? Pray with them and tell them Jesus loves them. Also, remember and pray for those who have no one to pray for them and those who have asked our prayers. Jesus is reaching out to us today to relief us in our pain and suffering. Do not hide from him.

May Our Lady of Lourdes continue to intercede for us daily Amen.

Remember God loves you even in your poor health condition
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Friday 5th week in OT (10th February 2017)
Memorial of St Scholastica – Virgin
Genesis 3:1-8, Mark 7:31-38

Have you ever tried watching a film with the volume switched off and no subtitles? Here, you only see the action but can’t understand because you can’t hear what is said to match with the action. It is not a wonderful experience. This was the same experience faced by the deaf man in the gospel. He saw people and the actions of Jesus but couldn’t understand what was happening until his people brought him to Jesus to be cured. Jesus said to him; “Be opened. And his ears were opened”. He could now hear and understand as everyone else.

We are fortunate that we are not deaf and we hear so many voices daily. Which voice do we heed to? In our first reading, Eve heard both the Word of God and the voice of the devil and decided to obey the temptation of the devil rather than the commandments of God. This was the same action of Adam that has been very costly to humanity. The teachings on Original Sin stems from this.

God’s message for us today is to be careful on what we listen and what we speak. Let us tune ourselves to always listen to God’s Commandments and despise that of the devil. Let Jesus open our ears also to listen to his Word to speak it to others through the intercession of St Scholastica whose memorial the Church celebrates today. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Enjoy the rest of the day
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Happy feast to all who bear the name Scholastica

Thursday 5th week in OT (9th February 2017)
Genesis 2:18-25, Mark 7:24-30

Our first reading from the book of Genesis continues with the second account of creation. Because man did not find a suitable mate for himself, God created the woman as a helpmate, equal to man with complementary qualities. What a gift of womanhood. This reminds us of the dignity of the woman. Women are equal in dignity and should be loved by men. This is a reminder that marriage is between a man and a woman in happiness.

The gospel tells us the story of a Syrophoenician woman who came to Jesus because her daughter was possessed. Jesus said no, but because of her faith in Jesus, she insisted and her daughter was finally cured. This is to remind us that, when Jesus says NO, it is not the END. Don’t be discouraged because NO can mean; Next Opportunity and END can mean Effort Never Dies. This is what it effectively meant for this woman. That is what it should also mean for us.

There are many who have abandoned their faith because they have prayed for long and God seemingly is not answering their prayers. The message of today is that we should persist and be positive. Wait for God’s time and he will surely do in his own way. Also, we should be an encouragement to one another.

Remember, we were created to live in harmony with one another, helping one another to live our potential, no matter our creed or race. Let’s be welcoming just as the first man welcomed the woman; “This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh”.

Remember God’s unconditional love for you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Wednesday 5th week in OT (8th February 2017)
Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17,  Mark 7:14-23

The book of Genesis today presents to us the second account of the creation of man. God put man in the garden of Eden, giving him freedom to consume all that was available except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he was not to eat, for on the day he shall eat of it, he shall most surely die”.

The gospel is the continuation of yesterday’s where the Pharisees questioned Jesus why his disciples ate with unclean hands. Jesus’ answer to them is that; “Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean”.

These readings today show that there is a connection between the act of eating and sin. Eating involves a decision making. The forbidden fruit eaten by Adam and Eve was not evil, but their act of disobedience to God constituted the evil. Also, Jesus confirms in the Gospel, it is not what a man eats that makes him unclean but the evil intentions from his heart.

Jesus wants to remind us today that when we sin, we eat the fruit of evil and our hearts become filled with evil, and from within comes death and destruction. Christ offered himself on the cross to redeem our fallen nature. Hence, in the Eucharist, we receive new life in Christ. Remember, our shortcomings started from the first sin. Let us strife daily not to be victims of sin again but to live in the new life Christ has won for us. Amen

Remember God loves you
Nice day with the Lord
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 5th week in OT (7th February 2017)
Genesis 1:20-2:4,  Mark 7:1-13

Yesterday, we started the story of creation concluded in today’s text, where we see humans as the last and the crown of God’s creation. Man is the summit of God’s creation, created in his image and likeness, endowed with the intellect, and given the authority to be masters of all other creatures. Hence, humans can choose between good and evil. How much then do we use that intellect to discern this fundamental moral principle to do good and avoid evil?

Jesus in the today’s gospel reminds us of those aspects of our cultures that we prioritise to rule over creation and on what God intended. Jesus is at odds with the Pharisees who are more concern about their law than the commandments of God; “You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions”.

We too need to reflect and examine our own practices and traditions. They should not make people frown and belittle our faith. Rather, our faith practices and religious customs and traditions should show others that we truly believe that God is present everywhere and loving us all the time.

We are challenged today to listen to God’s Word and practice in our lives, rather than being interested in ourselves only and creating traditions to suit ourselves. Let’s make the world the place as God intended at creation; stewards of God’s creation. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 5th week in OT (6th February 2017)
St Paul Miki and companions (Memorial)
Genesis 1:1-19, Mark 6:53-56

It is wonderful to see the beauty of God’s creation. The varieties of cultures, people, inventions, developments, the splendour of nature etc. All these brings freshness to our being and we want to continue living on this earth. We live and are happy because of God’s love given to us.

Today we begin reading from the book of Genesis with the first four days of creation. This brings to mind the basic truth that God is the Lord of creation who has a plan for us in His bountiful love. We only need to be inspired by the freshness of his Word and be an inspiration to others as well.

Jesus in the gospel proves to us that the freshness of his message always inspires and draws people closer. That is why his fame spread throughout the countryside which brought to him the sick whom he cured. He had something new to offer.

God created everything there is and he holds all of it in view and so he is aware of our difficulties and the things that afflict us. Being so aware, he is ready to help and heal us if we believe and call on him from our hearts. In the Eucharist, Jesus shows us his true face of love by changing bread and wine into his body and blood – food for our salvation. It brings love, goodness and freshness to our pilgrimage of faith. We too can take on that true look of love and let others recognize it when they look at us filled with the spirit of Jesus. May it continue to inspire us

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Sunday 5th week in OT (5th February 2017)
Matthew 5:13-16

One of the remarkable things in life is the trust God has given to humanity. He first of all created us in His image and likeness, entrusted the whole of creation into our care, and now entrusting to us the mission of being his light shining in the world. The image of salt is also used to challenge us as a preservative of the good news. Our readings today help us in this light.

Today’s first reading from the Prophet Isaiah gives us a few simple instructions on how to live our lives, particularly where the poor are concerned; he talks about light shining out for others to brighten their lives. Jesus continues the same theme in the gospel by telling his disciples that they are the light of the world, but he warns them to be careful about that. They are to preach openly and are not to keep to themselves what they have seen and heard. We are the successors of the apostles, we are the modern-day heralds of the gospel and we too have a duty to make that message known to all whom we meet. If God has trusted us so much as to be entrusted with this task, do we in turn trust his as to carry this task as given?

We sometimes shy away from our responsibilities claiming. Remember, St Paul in the second reading reminds the Corinthians that he was not a great orator but that what he preached came from his own faith in God. Can we too by our own faith in God be a light in the little things we do?

The image of light and salt Jesus uses today are symbols that give life and help our life with God. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works, and give glory to God our Father in heaven. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday and weekend.
Fr Thom Amungwa

Saturday 4th week in OT (4th February 2017)

Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21, Mark 6:30-34

Most people from my area (Cameroon) belief that, people in Europe are very busy. This stems from the impression those of us living Europe or America give them. We tell them all is work, work, work or school, school, school. Sometimes you may never hear Church, church, church. The search for pounds or dollars is very high. This is true because of the demanding bills to meet up and lend support back home. We become too busy that we forget to get a quiet time for prayer and to refocus our hearts on God for more success.

Today, the gospel presents to us Jesus’ disciples returning from their mission which kept them busy all day, and reported all they had done. Jesus’ immediate response was inviting them to go to a lonely place and rest. This will provide a good atmosphere for prayers. Jesus’ intention was to make them realise that success is given by God. Hence, the need to thank Him. Many times, we see success solely as our efforts. We need timeout daily from our busyness to thank God, otherwise, we will do the work of the Lord and forget the Lord of the work.

As we conclude the letter to the Hebrews today, we are once more exhorted to obey Church leaders as they guide us towards God. Jesus is the image of our Church leaders and ministers whom we should imitate. Hence, let us continue to live our Christians lives in a manner of playing our part in the spread of the gospel. Amen.

Remember god loves you
Happy weekend
Fr Thom Amungwa

Friday 4th week in OT (3rd February 2017)
St Blaise (Optional memorial)
Hebrews 13:1-8, Mark 6:14-29

Today is the feast of St Blaise. Even though an optional memorial, it is worth paying some attention. Very little is known about St Blaise, but he is known to have been the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia in the 4th century. He was a physician before becoming a bishop. St Blaise is associated with the blessing of throats. This is because, he is reported to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone that was stuck in his throat. Devotion to him spread like wild fire in the middle ages due to this miraculous cure. He is being invoked today on behalf of the sick, and especially those afflicted with any throat illness. Those who attend mass on this day will have their throats blessed.

The blessing of throats today is a reminder to us of the Lord’s desire for us to be well and to remove suffering from our lives. Just as we Christians feel and experience pain as the rest of humanity, let us pray that our faith may help us to understand better the mystery of suffering and to bear our pain with greater courage just at St Blaise did in his martyrdom in the year 316AD. May he continue to be our inspiration.

“Through the intercession of St Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from ever other illness. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”.

Remember God loves you
Remain blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Happy feast to all who bear the name Blaise.

Thursday 2nd February 2017
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4, Hebrews 2:14-18, Luke 2:22-40

One very curious aspect of man is to know his future. Imagine the crowd that were to gather if someone says he knows about our future. Yet when we came to know about that future it causes lots of anxiety and tension in us.

Today, we join Jesus and Mary at the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. It was during this presentation that the Prophet Simeon made some disturbing revelations about the child’s future. It was not comforting for Mary and Joseph to know that the baby in their arms was to become a sign that is opposed by those that do not want this revelation. We can imagine the pain that went through the hearts of Mary and Joseph. But they kept all these things and pondered in their hearts. The baby Jesus still remains the light, not just for the Jews, but to the whole world.

Reflecting Jesus’ light, we are to be the light which will enlighten others, yet we are also to be that sign that is going to be opposed by others. Even when the world prefers to live in darkness, we are called to shine out the light of Christ. Let’s continue to fight for peace, love, justice, unity and truth to invade our communities once more.

Today marks the formal end of the Christmas festival of light and the memorial of Christ’s birth. As we bless and process with our candles today, let it be a sign of welcoming Christ the light into our lives. Amen

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

Wednesday 4th week in OT (1st February 2017)
Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15, Mark 6:1-6

It is always said; Home is home and nowhere like home. The significance is that, it is a place of love and welcome after a long stressful day or time out.

In the gospel, we hear Jesus went back to his hometown, and instead of being made welcome, his own people scrutinized and rejected him. He did not feel welcomed home. Hence, in his own words said; “A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house”. His people despised him because they thought they knew him. How could he work miracles in such an environment? Hence, if we really want to be better people with Jesus working miracles in our lives, we must believe in Him and in the good news.

Today, our first reading reminds us that when we go wrong, the Lord will reprimand us, not to destroy us but to make us better for the future. He is a Father who corrects his children out of love. He wants us to grow to maturity in faith so as not to be poisoned by evil ways. This is what brings peace, love and unity in any community and to our homes.

Let us pray for peace in our homes and in our families so that we will grow in holiness and radiate the presence of God. May God’s love and peace be seen in our homes. Let the powerless power of the demon reigning in our hearts and in our world, be destroyed now and forever. Amen.


Remember God loves you
Nice day and happy new month
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 4th week in OT (31st January 2017)
Hebrews 12:1-4, Mark 5:21-43

To achieve in life, we need to focus. In a race, one must be very focused to remain in a leading position or if not, to catch up with the leader. Life here on earth is a pilgrimage and compared to a race which needs to be focused on our destination found in Jesus Christ.

The first reading tells us to keep running steadily in the race that we have started and to throw off everything that hinders us especially the sin that clings so easily onto us. Hence, we need to focus on Jesus, who leads us in our faith to share in his joy with victory over the devil.

The gospel tells us of Jesus’ power to do good, and to give an object lesson on faith to his disciples and to the people. Here, two people; A woman who had suffered haemorrhage for 12yrs and Jairus’ daughter who just died, looked up to Jesus in their distress and their needs are granted. Yes, they focused on Jesus and insisted because of their faith in him and won the race. Jesus will always insist on faith, which is the power that gives health and life, as seen in the two situations above. Jesus wants to do the same for us today.

May we too keep running the race of our struggles and keep our focus on Jesus in whatever we do and trust him. He will give us the joy and victory of our lives. Just as faith had been our focus throughout this week, our readings still challenge us to look closely at our faith and to do what we can to strengthen it and live lives based on faith.

Remember God loves you
Enjoy the rest of the day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 4th week in OT (30th January 2017)
Hebrews 11:32-40, Mark 5:1-20

Our readings today continue with the theme of faith as an important factor in our journey of salvation. The first reading sites to us some heroic figures who through faith, fought and conquered kingdoms. Again, standing by the truth in the face of torture is another heroic act en route to salvation. Not only biblical characters but also people in our days have shown proof of this act of faith. I’m sure we are already thinking of some exemplary people on this pathway. We are challenged today for others are thinking and talking about us in the same manner.

The gospel is about Jesus who cured a demoniac, casting out the evil spirits that possessed him into a herd of pigs that killed them. The people were terrified when they saw this and so asked Jesus to leave their territory. All this because of fear. Faith and fear are not compatible. Both readings today give us a synopsis about faith. While the first reading makes a capture of those whose faith made them conquer their enemies, the gospel speaks of those with little or no faith, and will not even want the little faith they have to grow due to fear. Perhaps they fear the cost of conversion they will have to go through in becoming people of faith. What about us? Do we have such fears?

We all know what faith can do and what rewards lies in store for us. We are given the choice today either to be a people of faith and enter heaven or turn our backs on God and be condemned. Which do you choose?

Make haste while the sun shines. Amen.

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

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day and happy new week
Fr Thom Amungwa

Sunday 4th week in OT (29th January 2017)
Matthew 5:1-12

Today we begin Jesus’ long Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel with the Beatitudes. These beatitudes announce that the blessings of the new covenant will be fully realised in heaven. Some do promise blessings that are partly enjoyed in this life, but all of them look beyond the struggles and hardships of this life to the eternal blessedness of heaven.

Today’s message of the Beatitudes is perhaps the most upsetting and challenging page of Jesus’ Good News; it is right at the heart of the gospel. The rich, the proud and the mighty are self-satisfied: they have what they want, and are dangerously shut up within themselves with what they have. The poor and the suffering are not praised because they have nothing or are persecuted, but because the poor and the humble, the gentle and those who weep are aware that they have nothing but themselves to give, and so they are people who hope, expecting everything from God and from people.

The beatitudes help us to recognise God in the world, indicating where we can expect to find Him at work. They are also the best description we have of Jesus and what kind of person he is. He is the one who is totally poor in spirit, totally dependent on God. It he who is gentle and meek, who mourns for the oppressed and hurt. He brings what is right and shows mercy to the sinner and is totally committed to doing the will of his Father. And supremely, it is Jesus who brings us peace and reconciles us with God and with each other.

We are all called to follow this personality of Christ, through which we can recognise the presence of God in the world, and recognise the face of Jesus in the most unexpected people. Finally, we will rejoice to find ourselves part of the kingdom of heaven. Let us be among the happy ones.

Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday and weekend.
Fr Thom Amungwa

Saturday 3rd week in OT (28th January 2017)
Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19, Mark 4:35-41

Faith simply means trust and believe in something or someone. It is also being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. How much faith do we have in others today?

Abraham and Sarah are presented today in our first reading as examples to teach us about faith. Abraham was told he would be a father of a great nation even though his wife Sarah was barren. Sarah too believed in God’s words that she would give birth. God commanded and they moved to a different country. All these due to their faith in a God who will always keep to his words. Because they believed, they were rewarded with the fulfilment of the promises.

We may have lost trust in our friends or leaders due to historical facts that they don’t keep to their promises. Sometimes it’s even difficult to think of having a platform to have any discussions with them because we have lost trust in them. That is true with humans. But what about God? Why don’t we trust God or believe in his Word made flesh to us in Jesus Christ? Our gospel is about turning to God at difficult moments and believing he will do it. The disciples in a terrified storm turned to Jesus and he calmed the storm, showing that he has power over the forces of nature. He will do same with our daily crisis moments.

Our readings today challenge us to live by faith even in the most precarious situation. In our fight for freedom, put God ahead. Let him take the first step otherwise don’t move. It is only then we will be rewarded and in turn, help to strengthen others’s faith. The struggle continues.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice weekend
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Happy feast to all who bear the name Thomas (Including me).

Friday 3rd week in OT. (27th January 2017)
Hebrews 10:32-39, Mark 4:26-34

The first reading today reminds us of the sufferings the Hebrews went through when they first accepted the good news. Despite all these, they still remained faithful, and must remain faithful forever. These are challenges in life which are rather distressful and even painful. It is even more painful today to be a Christian because of the insults and violence meted on us. Think of the recent happenings in Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc, where Christians are slaughtered daily. We are only encouraged today to remain faithful.

In our faithfulness, the kingdom of God continues to grow silently without ceasing despite all persecutions. This is our gospel message in which Jesus uses the image of seeds growing silently in the ground. From small beginnings, the Kingdom of God will grow like a mustard seed which is the smallest seed into the biggest shrub of all. Our daily reflections ‘Seeds of the Word’, are meant to challenge us daily. If we take them on board, they will grow in us silently into a mighty beautiful tree bearing sweet fruits for the kingdom.

These readings therefore challenge us to keep watch over our soul and to daily strengthen our faith with his Word. Remember, the salvation history of every person begins as a tiny seed, and constantly being threatened by sin which retards growth. If we live a life of patient and persevering faith, our own faith and the Kingdom of God will grow, as well as the faith of those around us. Let us face the challenges of life with persevering faith, as we await the blessings of the Lord. Amen.

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

Thursday 3rd week in OT (26th January)
Memorial of SS Timothy & Titus
Hebrews 10:19-25, Mark 4:21-25

As Christians, we should be the most assuring and confident people, because, as the first reading tells us, we have Christ our Saviour; the one who opened the door of heaven for us through his blood. However, to be fit to go through this door, we are reminded that we must be pure and have a clear conscience. True, Jesus died for our sins but we still have that responsibility to guard that soul from the devil’s manipulation. Otherwise, Jesus’ sacrifice will mean nothing to us and we still don’t go through that door of heaven opened wide for us.

In the gospel, Jesus used images to describe what his disciples are to be in the world. Jesus uses the image of lamp and lamp-stand to tell us that we are to shine for all to see, so that, those who live in darkness can see through us that great light of God.

Our readings today therefore challenge us to realise that we too are like lamps. If we hide away our faith, then the kingdom of God will not be seen. It is through our faith as Christians, that the faith of others grow. We not only let their faith grow, we also make ourselves more worthy to go through the door of heaven Christ opened for us.

Look around you today and see the people who need this light and give a generous respond to Christ’s message of light, through the intercession of SS Timothy and Titus whose memorial we celebrate today. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

*Happy Feast to all who bear the name Timothy or Titus.

Wednesday 3rd week in OT (25th January 2017)
The Conversion of St Paul (Feast)
Acts 22:3-16,  Mark 16:15-18

Paul (formerly Saul) whose conversion we celebrate today had a history arresting and persecuting Christians. He was breathing threats to slaughter more Christians and was on his way to Damascus to do so, as seen in the first reading. A bright light came from heaven and he fell to the ground and heard the voice of Jesus asking him why is he persecuting Him. From here, Paul got his dramatic conversion and became one of the greatest preachers of the Christ he formerly persecuted.

This reminds us of our own conversion. Any human act against the Word of God and his Church is a form of persecution. Our conversion may not to be as dramatic as that of Paul, but our little acts of forgiveness and asking for forgiveness ourselves, being faithful to God’s Word and his Church, can be a great act of conversion. We can also convert by going on a mission for Christ. The gospel reminds us of Jesus commissioning his disciples; ‘Go out to the whole world, proclaim the Good News to all creation’. This command is not outmoded but still freshly applied today.

We are all called to be preachers wherever we find ourselves. This Good News of Jesus Christ heals, forgives, saves, and converts the community into replicas of his kingdom. Let our desire always be to walk in the company of Jesus, so that we can reflect his light for the entire world that is being darkened today by hatred, war and strife.

May we convert daily to the gospel and take its message to far nations after the example of St Paul and in fulfilment to our own baptismal promises.

Remember God loves you
Happy feast of St Paul’s Conversion
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 3rd week in OT (24th January 2017)
Memorial of St Francis de Sales (Bishop & Doctor of the Church)
Hebrews 10:1-10,  Mark 3:31-35

Today’s Gospel is short but profound. It is about the mother, brothers and sisters of Jesus who came asking for him. The reply of Jesus was rather puzzling – “Who are my mother and brothers and sisters? Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother”. Today, Jesus looks around at all of us, his disciples and tells us that we are his mother, brothers and sisters and that, blood ties of the new covenant are found in obedience to the will and the Word of God.

This is the new family we all belong by virtue of our baptism.

The first reading and the Psalm captures the same theme: “Here I am, Lord! I  come to do your will”. Obedience is what led Jesus to the cross for our salvation. What God wants from us daily is our obedience. In fact, obedience is the first law of heaven, and should be the first law of everyone and every home. Remember, the first sin of Adam and Eve was disobedience which we have all inherited as original sin.

Obedience involves submitting to an authority or complying to a law. God wants our lives lived in obedience to his Word in the Scriptures and to his actions in the Sacraments. We must be prepared to put our lives into his hands just like his mother Mary at the annunciation; ‘Let it be done to me according to your will’. Mary learnt moment by moment to be the mother of Jesus. Let us learn daily as well to be the brothers and sisters of Jesus by doing God’s will. Amen.

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

Monday 3rd week in OT (23rd January 2017)
Hebrews 9:15, 24-28, Mark 3:22-30

Have you ever put in your best, sacrificed your best resources, took time off and even abandoned your family to do good for someone or for a people, and in return, your reward is abuses and condemnations? Remember, you are not alone. Jesus also went through all these.

In our gospel, the scribes made a very vicious comment about Jesus. They said, it was through the prince of devils that He cast out devils, instead of appreciating his good work. Imagine Jesus spending the first days of his ministry healing and casting out devils just to be despised this way. Certainly, this was a very disparaging statement, yet Jesus did not retaliate. He spoke to them in parables just for them to see the wrong in what they said. Whether the scribes got the point is another matter.

Jesus went through all sorts of humiliation because he wanted to save us at all cost. Our first reading reminds us today that; Christ brings a new covenant, and he sacrificed himself once and for all to do away with our sins. That means, we must acknowledge we are sinners in need of Jesus who can save us from our sins. At the same time, we need to put in our best to fight against our weaknesses, so that the devil does not trick us into losing this eternal life. Remember, Adam and Eve had been tricked before and many are still being tricked today into sin. Faithfulness to Christ will not betray the Good News we receive daily, and in his light we shall see light. Amen.

Remember God loves you.
Happy new week and remain blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa


3rd Sunday in OT (Year A)
Isaiah 8:23-9:3, 1Corinthians 1:10-13, 17, Matthew 4:12-23

Light and darkness are the two most universal symbols of our human condition. While light stands for the good, darkness is associated with evil. This image, brings to conclusion that our world is dark enough, because almost everywhere, there is dissension, conflict, strife, and war, many suppressed and oppressed etc. Darkness cannot dispel darkness, or war cannot stop war. Only its opposite can. Hence, only light can dispel darkness and only peace can stop war. Hope someone is listening somewhere.

Our readings today talk about light; “The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light”. This is Isaiah’s prophecy about the era of Jesus. Before the time of Jesus, about 98% of the human race lived in the darkness and hopelessness of paganism and ignorance. But the coming of Christ has moved us from that darkness into the wonderful light of Christ.

Despite Christ’s presence, can we say all darkness is gone from our world? Far from it. There still exists repressive governments, open bribery and corruption as part of a system, blatant lies over some state medias, murders with impunity, unlawful arrests, injustice, marginalisation etc. In the persistence of all these, can Jesus still be our light? We are reminded today that, Jesus is the light of our lives, and so our lives should reflect his light on all people far and near. Let that great light of Love, Peace, Justice, and Truth visit our communities once more.

If we come closer to Christ and listen to him, then; ‘In his light we shall see light’. May that light continue to scatter the darkness of our world and may our witness, works and words play a part in Christ’s mission of evangelisation.

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

Remember God loves you
Happy Sunday and weekend.
Fr Thom Amungwa

Saturday 2nd Week in OT (21st January 2017)
Memorial of St Agnes (Virgin & Martyr)
Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14, Mark 3:20-21

I watch yesterday with keen interest the inaugural ceremony of the 45th president of the US. In his inaugural speech, President Donald Trump amongst others things said there will be ‘transfer of power from Washington to the people’. In other words, he will not be a dictator but will listen more to the people. I found these words very inspiring for most of our leaders today who use power to suppressed and oppress the people. To sacrifice or listen to the people they rule is almost impossible.

In this light, I find the readings today more meaningful. The first reading tells us Christ offered his blood as the perfect sacrifice to God for our salvation. Salvation is more about the people through Jesus. The gospel is the show of Jesus’ mission of evangelisation which attracted crowds to wherever he went. Today’s crowd made even his family to think he was out of his mind but Jesus did not listen to them. Good leaders always pull the crowd and need no serious security. It is quite easy to dismiss Jesus’ teachings as the talk of an attention seeker, but looking closely, we see that they are words calling us to a radical change and conversion in our lives. Perhaps, they are quite simple and possible, hence, we do not want to live by them because they are so simple.

Let Jesus continue to be our example both in word and in deed. Let him be an inspiration for all in authority to lead their people with love, peace, truth and justice. We pray through the intercession of St Agnes whose memorial we celebrate today. Amen.

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

*Happy feast to all who bear the name Agnes.

Friday 2nd week in OT (20th January 2017)
Hebrews 8:6-13,  Mark 3:13-19

When going shopping, we carry empty shopping bags, or empty trolleys to fill with items. We need space to put something in any container. So too with our minds and hearts, we need space for God.

Our first reading talks about God wanting to make a new and everlasting covenant with his people. hence, they will need to open their hearts and minds and empty them of old stock to make space for the new. Hence, He will be their God and they will be His people. Our text therefore shows us that Jesus Christ is that new and everlasting covenant, better than that with their ancestors. Today, that covenant is renewed every day in the Eucharist which we are called to participate.

In our Gospel, Jesus is seen choosing his twelve closest collaborators, to assist him in his mission of Evangelisation – preaching, curing the sick and casting our devils in his name. They are like examples for us baptised Christians in which we too must live out our faith – bringing Christ’s healing presence wherever we go. Just as Jesus called the twelve, he is also calling us to open and offer to him our minds and hearts. He wants to continue building his Church here on earth through us. What is my contribution so far? Remember, the Church is not a building but a people redeemed by God through his Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

May our minds not be distracted, and may our hearts be pure, so that our faith in God will be strengthened and that others will be inspired as they see us making space for God in our minds and hearts. Amen.

Remember God loves
Nice day and stay blessed
Fr Thom Amungwa

Thursday 2nd week in OT (19th January 2017)
Hebrews 7:25-8:6,  Mark 3:7-12

Today, in the first reading, we continue with the theme of Jesus’ priesthood. This text gives us the ideal of who a high priest should be; ‘Holy, innocent, and uncontaminated beyond the influence of sinners, and raised up above the heavens’. Christ is all this, and more, as he goes on to fulfil this ideal perfectly. He is the mediator, perfect, unique, who offered himself once for all. All who believe in him get access to God through him.

St Mark in the gospel gives us a summary if Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, leading people to God. Yesterday, we heard how the Pharisees attacked him because of his healing power. Today, the great crowds from Galilee flock to him because of his healing power, not so much to be converted. This may sound like a fairy tale, but this great crowds are not alone. Sometimes, we too might be accused of their same weakness. This begets the question; Why do so many seek God in times of difficulties and very few when things are all moving okay?

The psalmist reminds us today; ‘Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will’. If we make these words ours, then we will realise that doing God’s will is in season and out of season. May these words continue to inspire us such that, in as much as we need Gods intervention in moments of difficulties, know he will also like to share in your celebration in times of joy. Can this be made a reality?

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day
Fr Thom Amungwa

Wednesday 2nd Week in OT (18th January 2017)

Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17,   Mark 3:1-6

We often hear; ‘You are a priest forever, a priest like Melchizedek of old’, as captured by today’s first reading and psalm. Who is this Melchizedek? He is one of the Old Testament figures and king of Salem. Salem in Hebrew means ‘peace’, meaning, he is king of peace. Melchizedek was a priest and an image of the Son of God – Jesus Christ, who is priest forever. But Christ’s priesthood is not because of any law regarding his lineage, but because of his power over death and his immortality.

This brings us to this comparative synopsis of Melchizedek and Jesus.

  • While Melchizedek offered bread and wine to Abraham, Jesus offers us Himself as our bread of life
  • Melchizedek stood for righteousness and peace, Jesus on his part gives us the faith to do good works and give life to others.

It is in the backdrop of this that Jesus in the gospel today went about healing, and saving life even on the Sabbath, just as in yesterday’s gospel. This is because true worship of God is to safe life, and to lift them up from their suffering and oppression. This sets in motion those who hate him. The Pharisees plot to kill Jesus instead of hailing him. What about us? Daily, we receive God’s blessings and healing, do we worship God truly or do we grieve him with our actions? Let us fight for justice and peace, void of violence and hate.

May our Eucharistic worship be expressed in our daily lives and may we be true symbols of love, righteousness, justice, truth and peace to others. Amen.

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

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

*Please, kindly offer a prayer for peace in Cameroon, as the crisis in the Anglophone region is taking a different dimension. God take control. Thanks.

Tuesday 2nd Week in OT (17th January 2017)
St Anthony of Egypt (Memorial)
Hebrews 6:10-20,   Mark 2:23-28

The one main objective of Christianity is salvation. This is captured in God becoming man to show us how far God could go just to offer us this salvation. Jesus Christ therefore offered himself on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins in order to save us. Jesus’ life is meant to teach and provoke us into re-examining our behaviour and ideas on the meaning of Christianity and salvation.

Today’s gospel captures an encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees who accused his disciples for picking ears of corn on the Sabbath and eating. True, this was against the law but it was an opportunity for us to learn what the law is all about. Hence, Christ said; “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. This is a famous saying used by many today either wrongly or rightly. The point of Jesus’ teaching here is that, the function of laws is to order relationships within the community so as to safeguard the rights of God and of the people around us, and to make us aware of our social responsibilities. But from experience, the human temptation is that, people turn laws into absolutes and make others servants of the law rather than the law a servant of people. Jesus today reminds us of the priority of people over the letter of the law.

How do we interpret the law not just to worship God on Sabbath but every day of our lives? Is the keeping of the Sabbath just a habit or hobby for us or does it really lead us in serving God and our neighbour truly?

Let the Sabbath lead us to remembering the goodness of God and give Him sincere thanks as we serve one another. Amen.

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

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day with the Lord
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 2nd Week in OT (16th January 2017)
Hebrews 5:1-10,  Mark 2:18-22

Our first reading today from the letter to the Hebrews is a familiar one, which brings to mind the relationship between obedience and freedom. Freedom is the most cherished state of humans, such that they fight and are even ready to die for it. True freedom lies in obedience, which looks contradictory in terms, but Jesus has taught us how true this is. The letter to the Hebrews reminds us that; “He [Jesus] learnt to obey through suffering”. Jesus is divine and had the absolute power to do whatever he wanted, but had to submit to the Father’s Will through suffering for our salvation. In Jesus’ obedience therefore, we see what true freedom is all about.

Whatever our idea of freedom is all about, today, we need to look up to Jesus for inspiration. He is shockingly new to us in all aspects of life. Permit me use this example. With the recent crisis in Anglophone Cameroon, it looks quite clear that the authorities are shocked to see a people fighting for their freedom with such a terrific determination even to the point of dying for it. Yes, if we accept and be obedient to God’s ways, even in suffering, then we shall achieve true freedom. Let the ways of Jesus be something altogether new for us. Let his new ways penetrate and destroy the old systems we have been used to. Let it burst apart those old systems of suppression, marginalisation, injustice and neglect, and deliver us into the newness of the freedom of the children of God. Let it bring us to the kingdom of peace and justice for those most in need. As the gospel relates today; ‘New wine, fresh skins!’

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

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

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 15th January 2017
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6,  1Corinthians 1:1-3,  John 1:29-34

On this 2nd Sunday in OT, after Jesus’ baptism, the church presents to us through the prophetic insights of Isaiah and John the Baptist, Jesus as the Lamb of God; The son who obediently fulfilled the will of the father.

The people didn’t recognise Jesus when he came, not because of physical blindness but because they suffered from spiritual blindness. Hence, they could not recognise the saviour who they have waited so long to receive. It took the combination of Isaiah, the anointed prophet and the testimony of the Holy Spirit to identify him as the beloved Son of God at his baptism. His presence therefore needs testimonies, and we stand in a privileged position to give this testimony to the spiritually blind. It is therefore our mission to present Christ to others as John did; “Look, there is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. Both Christ and John the Baptist have played their role as far as doing the will of God is concerned. It is our duty to continue that same mission.

The Psalmist tells us today; “Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will”. These words remind us of the task on our shoulders to do the will of God. Remember, on our own we can do nothing but with God we can do everything. Hence, we need to employ the services of the Holy Spirit, to supply us with the grace we need to do his will. We only need to be docile to the Holy Spirit as John the Baptist did, and we shall be revealed what we need to know, and the best way to carry out this mission. Think of an opportunity you recently omitted in carrying out God’s mission. Could anything be done to ameliorate the situation. Many opportunities come your way daily. Will they still pass you by?

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

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


Saturday 1st week in OT (14th January 2017)
Hebrews 4:12-16,  Mark 2:13-17

Today, our first reading tells us; “The Word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any doubled edge sword but more finely”. This captures the image of penetrating the thoughts of every heart, laying it bare and exposing us to the eye of God. Once we hear this Word of God and respond to it positively, it can transform us from sinners into saints. This Word can judge, but judges with mildness; by offering us new chances. Do we offer these chances to others when they wrong us?

Our gospel is about the call of Levi (Matthew); a typical sinner and tax collector who exploited his own people. he was also a traitor as he collaborated with the Romans against his people. Jesus’ words, “Follow me” was a new chance to him that penetrated his heart like a double-edged sword. He responded to it and became an apostle and martyr, faithful to the end.

Jesus came for sinners like you and me. The difficulty today is that, we do not want to even acknowledge we are sinners. Jesus is looking for sinners and not the self-righteous, those who know they need a doctor and medicine. He will transform those who commit to him. Like Matthew today, let us respond to Christ’s invitation. He will change us from sinners to saints. As you listen to his word today, harden not your heart. Amen.

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

Friday 1st week in OT (13th January 2017)
Hebrews 4:1-5, 11,  Mark 2:1-12

Today, our first reading from the letter to the Hebrews continues to advice the dispersed Jewish Christians, living in exile on account of their faith, not to seek to return to their city of rest, but rather to seek the ultimate place of rest and peace, which is dwelling in the presence of God. They can seek this love of God wherever they find themselves. God’s goodness has no limit, nor limited by space, or time. What God requires is faithfulness to his Word. Hence, ‘We must therefore do everything we can to reach this place of rest’. Today, we may not be in exile as the dispersed Jewish Christians, but in our own homeland, we may be seeking security in the things we own or where we live. This can be a hindrance to our journey of peace and rest in God’s dwelling.

The gospel is about a paralytic who was brought to Jesus but because of the crowd, they went up and opened the roof and lowered the man to where Jesus was. Jesus interprets this as a veritable sign of faith and healed him. This cure is a visible manifestation that something has happened inside the man. Jesus said, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven’. His paralysis of sin is also forgiven. Yes, Christ is also ready to forgive us if we ask for forgiveness with faith as this paralytic. Hence, we too can give signs to people in their misery that God is alive and also within us. Remember the words of the psalmist today; “Never forget the deeds of the Lord”

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

Thursday 1st week in OT (12th January 2017)
Hebrews 3:7-14,  Mark 1:40-45

The author of the letter to the Hebrews is unknown, but was written to the Jewish converts to Christianity who suffered much on account of their faith. This caused many of them to flee to pagan territories where they still felt insecure and threatened as ‘displaced persons’. The letter today was aimed at consoling them not to give up their faith. They are told today not to harden their hearts, but keep trusting and listening to God. Again, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, they should keep encouraging one another. Are these not fitting words for us today, as we encounter all sorts of temptations, difficulties and challenges in life?

St Mark in the gospel presents Jesus as the solution to all our problems. Leprosy in those days was considered a contagious disease. Lepers were excluded from the community and lived in isolated places. Anyone who came in contact with them was also isolated. Jesus cured a leper and warned him to keep quiet about it. But the joy of his cure made him talk about it everywhere. Because of this, Jesus was to be isolated for touching a leper. But people still came to him for cure.

Leprosy was a physical disease but has a spiritual meaning for us. Sin is spiritual leprosy that afflicts our souls. Jesus invites us to the sacrament of reconciliation to obtain forgiveness and healing for our souls. Jesus wants to heal us, let us go to him on our knees with courage and humility and obtain this peace and joy of our lives. Amen.

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

Wednesday 1st week in OT – 11th January 2017
Hebrews 2:14-18, Mark 1:29-39

It is always said, ‘power is sweet’. Maybe one can understand why some take over power and never want to leave. They want to eliminate everyone along their route to maintain that power. Relinquishing power looks like redundancy and makes them useless. They cannot understand what life means without power.

In the first reading we are told Jesus took himself down to our human nature to atone for our sins. With worldly eyes, we should be wondering why he should leave that high power in the highest heavens and come that low to our sinful human nature. But emptying himself, Jesus did not become redundant or useless; on the contrary, he was able to heal and save people from their sins. The gospel is all about the power of Jesus in our human nature; healing and casting out demons. He relied on the power of God for this through prayer. The least free time Jesus has, is time for prayer to refuel and recharge with the spirit given him before returning to his work. What about us? What do we do with our free time and with the spirit God has given us? Do we make time for prayers to recharge for the work God has given us now? The answer is living in each one of us. If Jesus, the Son of God and God himself could pray, what about us?

Remember, in prayer, we unite ourselves with Jesus who fills us with God’s power to continue His mission of proclaiming the Good news of love. Let us open ourselves in prayer for him to fill us with his peace. Amen.

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

Tuesday 1st week in OT (Year 1) 10th January 2017
Hebrews 2:5-12, Mark 1:21-28

It may be hard to deny the fact that the world is too busy and noisy. So many voices and distractions beckoning on us like the radio, TV, newspapers, internet, facebook, whatsapp, etc. In big towns, think of the hustling and buzzling, traffic and industrial noise etc. In all these, it is challenging to make time for quiet, peace, reflection or call on the name of Jesus.

In today’s gospel, we hear another kind of noise. It is that of a man possessed by an unclean spirit. It recognised Jesus who, in a calm and authoritative voice, had only this to say: ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ The unclean spirit came out of the man who regained his peace and quiet. Everyone was astonished.

This reminds us that whenever we are faced with any confrontational or disturbing situation, Jesus is there to give us peace. We only need to recognise his presence within us, make time for him, and call on him. Our first reading reminds us that Jesus is our brother. He sanctifies us and grants us peace, so that we can be still and be quiet in the noisy world. With Jesus’ peace in our hearts, may we also help to quieten down the aggressive and hostile people we see around us, who want to steal our peace from us.

Let us recognise the authority of Jesus to conform our lives, so that we can regain our peace. As you listen to his voice today, harden not your hearts. Let Jesus continue to bless us today with his peace. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Have a nice day with the Lord
Fr Thom Amungwa

Monday 9th January 2017
Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7, Acts 10:34-38, Matthew 3:13-17

Our Church doctrine teaches that; baptism is the sacrament that takes away our original sin, our own sins, and makes us children of God. From the aforementioned, one can ask; Did Jesus need to be baptised by John? Yes. John’s baptism differed from sacramental baptism as we have today, which confers forgiveness and the regenerating grace of justifying faith. John’s baptism was that of water only. Hence, Jesus’ baptism was to inaugurate his ministry and to ‘fulfil all righteousness’. Again, “Jesus’ gesture is a manifestation of his self-emptying. The Spirit who had hovered over the waters of the first creation descended then on the Christ as a prelude of the new creation, and the Father revealed Jesus as his ‘beloved Son’” (CCC 1224). We are reminded here that in our own baptism, we too, in Christ, are the beloved of the Father.

Jesus’ accepted baptism to identify with us sinners and to bring us God’s forgiveness and life. This is the difficult mission which Christ accepted in which we become one with him at our own baptism.

This feast comes immediately after our Christmas season so as to move the mystery of salvation from the incarnation to the mission of evangelisation. This mission depends on love without which there can be no meaning or purpose or direction in life. Jesus came to save us by showing God’s love for us. May we too show God’s love for others to purpose and direct our own lives. Like Jesus, let us also accept our mission to be good servants of God and people, even when this task is difficult. After all, we are Jesus’ disciples. Let him continue to bless us with peace. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy feast of Jesus’ Baptism
Fr Thom Amungwa.

Sunday 8th January 2017
Solemnity of The Epiphany of the Lord
Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6, Matthew 2:1-12

“Where is the Infant King of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage”. These are the words of the three wise men from the east which captures their mission and gives us a synopsis of what we celebrate today: The Epiphany of the Lord. The term epiphany is from a Greek origin meaning “to reveal” or “to manifest”. This is a feast of God’s manifestation to the gentile world and not only the chosen people.

Their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh are very symbolic to the mission of Jesus. Gold stands for his Kingship, Frankincense for his divinity and Myrrh for his humanity.

As the wise men presented their gifts to Jesus, we also see their journey as a gift to us, because this journey entailed searching, struggling, and perseverance. It depicts our journey of faith as well, in which, we search, struggle and persevere. We search in answer to our prayers, we struggle with the fundamental questions of life about sickness, suffering and death, terrorism and wars, hunger and poverty, and we persevere in our trials and difficulties because of what awaits us at the end. Don’t be fooled by Herod. Take another way that leads to success.

Like the wise men, we also face our darkness, our uncertainties, the missing star that leads the way and even the manipulations of the Herods of our lives. But don’t be discouraged and don’t give up until you find your hearts desires just as the wise men who found the baby Jesus lying in the manger.

Let’s resolve today to make the Magi our models, to follow them to Bethlehem and to offer the Infant Jesus all that we have and are. He will accept our offering and we will return by another way, healed, wiser and better people. Hang on to the struggle because success is just around the corner. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Happy Solemnity of the Epiphany
Fr Thom Amungwa

*This feast officially ends the Christmas season. Ordinary time sets in after the Baptism of the Lord tomorrow.


Saturday 7th January. (Before Epiphany)
1John 5:14-21, John 2:1-12

Today’s encouraging words from St John are aimed at helping us for a better Christian life, where we can demand anything from God and receive it. St John also asks us to pray for others so that their faith may be strengthened. The miracle of Jesus at the wedding feast at Cana in Galillee is also indicative of the fact that we have an advocate before Christ always ready to plead our cause in the person of Mary, who is both mother of Christ and mother of God.

We all know we belong to God and so have the power within us to know the truth of his love for us. Hence, we know we can ask for what we need from God, if we keep ourselves deep in his heart with Jesus.

Mary at the wedding feast in Cana showed us how to be sensitive to the needs of others, and to always intervene. We can feed the poor and fill those who are empty with good things, we can fight for the rights of the suppressed and marginalised etc. If the good Lord has given us these abilities, why hold back and think only of our self-interest? This is an encouragement for those who are always at the disposal of others. You will be blessed forevermore. Our prayers are also a valuable resource in meeting the needs of others. Let’s truly pray for the intentions of the needy and those who have asked our prayers. By this, we are also making sure God’s word comes true and fulfilled in us. Remember that your mission is to be a miracle to others by changing their watery lives into sweet wine. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Fr Thom Amungwa

Friday 6th January 2017 (Christmas Season before Epiphany)
1John 5:3-15, Mark 1:6-11

It is not uncommon to see bibles used in courts for swearing before giving evidence, or presidents swearing the oath of office with a hand on a bible or holding one, even if they rigged elections. This is because the Bible is truth itself and contains truth. To put your hand on the bible is taking an oath that all you will say or do will be the truth and in line with the truth of the gospel. Has this just been a matter of routine or actually that the real truth is told as contained in the bible? Just wondering aloud for us to be the final judge to this assertion.

St John in the first reading reminds us that God’s greatest testimony is seen in Jesus Christ who is truth. All these truths are found in scriptures. St Jerome tells us, “Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”. Everyone who believes in Jesus has this testimony in him, otherwise, we are accusing God to be a liar. So, using the bible in court is a grave offence if we know we will lie. Not only in courts, but other spheres of life that we act contrary to gospel values. Even when we make a mistake, the sacrament of reconciliation invites us for cleansing. How often do we take advantage of the sacrament? Our gospel today reminds us of God witnessing to Jesus as his beloved Son, and that we should listen to him. There is no greater testimony to the person of Jesus than this. Can we also be witnesses to Jesus by our words and deeds today?

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Fr Thom Amungwa

Thursday 5th January 2017 (Christmas Season)
1John 3:11-21, John 1:43-51

We live in a world with so many choices at our disposal. The greatest of these choices is between good and evil. At creation, God gave man the special privilege to be created in his image and likeness, endowed with a conscience to follow the first principle of practical reason: Do good and avoid evil. As humans, we are daily either promoting this principle or killing it by reversing to do evil and avoid good. This can be very true in our communities today. Our readings today are an encouragement to love in truth and in deed.

St John in the first reading continues to exhort us to live according to the will of God and to love one another. Hence, our love should not just be lip-service, but should be seen in our actions. The example of Cain slaying his brother is what St John distaste in the first reading. Am sure we can site many similar bad examples today. But in our gospel passage, we see Philip and Nathanael witnessing to Jesus as he calls them to be his disciples. We too are called to witness to Christ in the world today in our present precarious circumstances. God is calling us today because of trust. Let’s not disappoint him in the course of doing good and avoiding evil.

Let us continue with the efforts to bring God’s love and peace bestowed on us at Christmas to the world. Our goodwill struggles today will build a better future for our children and the next generation. It’s our task, and so we all join to achieve it.

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Fr Thom Amungwa

Wednesday 4th January (Christmas season)
1John 3:7-10, John 1:35-42

When we are born, our parents take care of us and offer the best for us ranging from lodging, feeding, education, clothing etc. All in a bid for a responsible future. As we grow older we begin to gain independent by choosing what to eat, wear, our friends, our school etc. Our choices are very much influenced by our childhood formation. For the most part, we look for good friends to maintain our good moral standards. Sometimes, we may be lured into evil by some bad friendships. But in our maturity we must be ready to shun evil and all associated with it.

Our readings today remind us of our inclination to the good. The first reading tells us that a sinful way of life is not in keeping with God’s love for us. We need to implant the seed of love, truth and the spirit of God within us. In the gospel, John’s disciples discovered Jesus and want to stay with him. One of them goes and brings his brother to Jesus. It seems that, when one discovers Jesus, one is impelled to bring others into his company. We are all children of God and have heard of him all the days of our lives but how long is it that we proclaimed him as messiah over our lives or brought others to him? As children of God, let us make the effort to bring others to Jesus, work with them to undo the evil of our society, and live up rightly in the service of love. Let the Christmas light continue to shine and glow in our lives for others to see and follow. Amen.

Remember God loves you
Stay blessed and happy new year
Fr Thom Amungwa

Tuesday 3rd January 2017
1John 2:29-3:6, John 1:29-34

What we may say today about a spiritual person is that, it refers to one who prays, makes prophecies, healings, miracles, visionaries etc. Not only these spectacular manifestations, but there are also true spiritual persons that do not manifest any of the above spectacular traits. St John affirms in the first reading today that, when we simply avoid sin, we become holy and also become children of God. John the Baptist in the gospel was also a simple but spiritual man. He challenges us to live up to the fact that we are children of God. John simply witnessed to Jesus by telling his listeners that Jesus is the Son of God who is filled with the spirit of God. The readings therefore call on us to reaffirm our allegiance to God and to witness to him at all times both in word and in deed.

Is our Christianity not all about obeying God’s Word and avoiding sin? It is a life of righteousness lived out in purity, a purity that is rooted in Jesus. When we live this life of righteousness and purity, we will be able to hear what God is saying to us. And then by our deeds and words, people will know and will able able to say if we are spiritual persons or not.

If we can revisit our new year resolutions once more, ask yourself today, what are those things that make me look spiritual? Is God leading the way in these resolutions or are they just my wishes irrespective of how they influence my spirituality? Just like Mary, may we seek to do God’s will and not our wills. “I am the handmade of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word”.

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

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