Today’s Mass readings and a reflection


Tuesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

2nd book of Samuel 18:9-10.14b.24-25a.30-33.19:1-3.
Absalom unexpectedly came up against David’s servants. He was mounted on a mule, and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth, his hair caught fast in the tree. He hung between heaven and earth while the mule he had been riding ran off.
Someone saw this and reported to Joab that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth.
Joab replied, “I will not waste time with you in this way.” And taking three pikes in hand, he thrust for the heart of Absalom, still hanging from the tree alive.
Now David was sitting between the two gates, and a lookout mounted to the roof of the gate above the city wall, where he looked about and saw a man running all alone.
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said, “If he is alone, he has good news to report.” As he kept coming nearer,
The king said, “Step aside and remain in attendance here.” So he stepped aside and remained there.
When the Cushite came in, he said, “Let my lord the king receive the good news that this day the LORD has taken your part, freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you.”
But the king asked the Cushite, “Is young Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rebel against you with evil intent be as that young man!”
The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate to weep. He said as he wept, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”
Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom;
and that day’s victory was turned into mourning for the whole army when they heard that the king was grieving for his son.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:21-43.
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet
and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. (At that) they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

 

REFLECTION:

Jairus knew the healing power of Jesus, and his daughter was dying (Mk 5:23). Jairus also had a reputation to uphold. If Jairus were to go to Jesus and seek his daughter’s healing, he might lose his standing in the synagogue, or perhaps even risk expulsion. What if Jairus went to Jesus and then Jesus didn’t heal his daughter? He’d have a dead daughter, and could have been laughed out of the synagogue as well.

Jairus decided to risk everything out of faith in Jesus. Though some officials went to Jesus in secret, Jairus openly went to Jesus and “fell at His feet” (Mk 5:22). He publicly acknowledged Jesus’ superiority and his own humility. Jairus received his daughter back from the dead.  His family was made one in Christ, united in faith.

What about you? What would you have to risk to follow Jesus completely? Could you take the leap of faith and risk it all for the greater reward of what Jesus has for you? Be a Jairus. Decide to follow Jesus, and then hold nothing back.

Do you approach the Lord Jesus with expectant faith or with skepticism and doubt? People in desperate or helpless circumstances were not disappointed when they sought Jesus out. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? What did the elderly woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her? And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do about his beloved lost daughter? Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!).

“Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him. . .”  This idea of power – held, shared, used – applies in so many parts of our lives.  Here is an example of Jesus allowing His power to be accessed and used. Where do we obtain our personal power?  As we grow and develop our innate talents, as we nurture strengths, as we overcome weaknesses, we build power.  We may be fortunate by birth to be in a position of power.  We may obtain power by advancement in our jobs and professions, by our work within organizations, by our sharing of our talents.  We build power by the integrity with which we lead our lives, by the honesty we manifest when we interact with people, by the trust that we create in the people around us as we treat them with dignity and respect.  I don’t think we normally have a light bulb moment that we suddenly know we have power, but I think as we reflect on our lives and capacities we grow into a realization that we have the ability to shape events and have an impact on people.

“Glory to you, hidden Son of God, because your healing power is proclaimed through the hidden suffering of the afflicted woman. Through this woman whom they could see, the witnesses were enabled to behold the divinity that cannot be seen. Through the Son’s own healing power his divinity became known. Through the afflicted women’s being healed her faith was made manifest. She caused him to be proclaimed, and indeed was honored with him. For truth was being proclaimed together with its heralds. If she was a witness to His divinity, He in turn was a witness to her faith…He saw through to her hidden faith, and gave her a visible healing.”

We see Jesus’ personal concern for the needs of others and His readiness to heal and restore life. In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as He gives freely and wholly of Himself to each  person He meets. Do you approach the Lord with confident expectation that He will hear your request and act?

“Lord Jesus, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service to others.”

Educating Young People in Justice and Peace.


The Youth Building Peace Program was initiated in 2009 as a means of developing young leaders for a better tomorrow.  The vision of the Youth Building Peace program is to offer training for Ugandan youth that empowers them to be servant leaders in their communities now and in their future endeavors.  The goal of the program is to build unity and peace by cultivating social conscientiousness, relationships, spirituality, and leadership skills among catholic youth in Uganda, such that they return to their communities and lead efforts to create a more just society.

The program brings youth ages 18-25 years of age from across Uganda together once a year to learn about social justice, conflict resolution, and social action.  The program provides the opportunity for the youth to develop in areas they are currently not getting exposure to in their regular academic experiences due to inequalities in resources, teachers and perspectives.  The youth also have the opportunity to learn more about their catholic faith and deepen their personal relationship with God.  The transformational power in this program is having the youth return multiple times during the span of six years, building relationships with those from various regions and ethnic groups across Uganda.  Slowly over time, this is one means of unifying the country, generation after generation, creating a network of ethical and trusted leaders in various sectors.

During the program, youth develop their personal and leadership abilities.  Specifically, the program builds their knowledge, skills and awareness in the areas of communication, team building, conflict resolution, social action planning, forgiveness, and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

We use interactive methods of learning, including the use of art, movies, drama, poetry, singing, sports, and structured activities to teach the youth.  We profile peace-makers such as St Damien, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai and other Africans as models for the youth.  The youth engage in practical ways to improve their team building, communication, conflict resolution and planning skills.   Through interesting activities the youth are challenged to increase their own self-awareness and face their own prejudices.

Since the training program is made very affordable for the youth, they are asked to make a commitment for one year to create positive change in their communities in some way.  Thus far, the youth have reached out to children on the streets to help give them a better life, they have encouraged and supported prostitutes to forge a new path, they have gathered children in their villages and parishes to engage them in constructive activities, usually involving themes of positive social behavior, they have visited elderly and shut-ins, they have created income generating projects, they have mediated conflicts in their work or school environments, they have made efforts to forgive and reconcile in their families, and mostly they lived more Christ-like lives.

Uganda Youth Ministry Association will hold and facilitate a Youth Building Peace Seminar at St. Claret-Nyabwiina Parish 1-4th March 2012.

Come join this wonderful opportunity to build new friendships, learn about yourself, grow in your catholic faith, develop your leadership skills, learn about peace and justice issues, and help make Uganda a more just and united country.

BUDGET FOR THE YOUTH SEMINAR ON PEACE AND JUSTICE at St Claret Parish, Mbarara Uganda (1st to 4th March 2012)

                                                                                                                                                                                      

                    EXPECTED ATTANDANCE:

                       Participants       50

                       Trainers                4

                     Guests of honor    2

   

 

ITEM              AMOUNT IN SHILLINGS     AMOUNT $

Accommodation       2,730,000                         1,187.0

Meals                       3,600,000                            1,565.2

Stationery                 500,000                                217.4

Public Address         100,000                                 43.5

Cost on Trainers          600,000                            260.9

Certificates                  500,00                                 217.4

Venue                          200,000                                 87.0

Miscellaneous             100,000                                 43.5

TOTAL                   8,330,000                  3,621.9                      

Today’s Mass readings and a reflection


Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

2nd book of Samuel 15:13-14.30.16:5-13a.
An informant came to David with the report, “The Israelites have transferred their loyalty to Absalom.”
At this, David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: “Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us, then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword.”
As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went.
As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul’s family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came.
He threw stones at David and at all the king’s officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David’s right and on his left.
Shimei was saying as he cursed: “Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!
The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer.”
Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head.”
But the king replied: “What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?'”
Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants: “If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so! Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.
Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day.”
David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:1-20.
They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”
(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)
He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.”
And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.”
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But he would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

REFLECTION:

Today, Jesus moves into a new set of impossible situations. He encounters a demon possessed man. This man was possessed by thousands of demons. He cannot help himself and the people around him are helpless as well. After this, Jesus will deal with a diseased woman and a dead girl. All four of these situations appear hopeless from a human perspective. Yet, in each of these cases, Jesus proved that He was the Master of them all.

If that demon possessed man were alive today, he would be sent off to live in a mental institution. That diseased woman would be sent to terminal care ward. The dead girl would be sent to the cemetery.

Jesus took pity on the man who was overtaken by a legion of evil spirits. The destructive force of these demons is evident for all who can see as they flee and destroy a herd of swine. After Jesus freed the demoniac the whole city came out to meet him. No one had demonstrated such power and authority against the forces of Satan as Jesus did. They feared Jesus as a result and begged Him to leave them. Why would they not want Jesus to stay? Perhaps the price for such liberation from the power of evil and sin was more than they wanted to pay. Jesus is ready and willing to free us from anything that binds us and that keeps us from the love of God. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from his love and saving grace? We need to keep in mind that He can move in our lives with the same power. He can break the chains that bind us and He can set us free!

Do you ever feel driven by forces beyond your strength? Our age has also witnessed untold crimes and mass destruction at the hands of possessed rulers and their armies. What is more remarkable – the destructive force of this driven and possessed man – or the bended knee at Jesus’ feet imploring mercy and release? God’s word reminds us that no destructive force can keep anyone from the peace and safety which God offers to those who seek His help. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. ..Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation (Psalm 91:7,9). We are once again reminded of Jesus’ power to heal and restore people.

Yes, Jesus wants to heal us, both physically and interiorly. He wants to set us free from sickness and from the guilt, anxieties, fear, and bitter­ness that bind us up and keep us distant from Him. And He wants to do this through us. That’s right—He wants you and me to be an instrument of His peace and healing! We can ask Him to speak His words of comfort and heal­ing to their hearts and bodies. Any one of us can soak our loved ones in prayer and trust that God will per­form just the right healing at just the right time.

Catholic Church to Empower Youths on ICT


Uganda’s Catholic Church has set up plans to heighten training of youths in information and communication technology with the aim of assisting them exploit government’s plan to outsource jobs in ICT sector.

Last year, Uganda government revealed of its plans to outsource over 100,000 government jobs in the ICT sector in an ambitious outsourcing plan to provide employment for the youth.

According to the ICT Ministry, the initiative code-named Business Process Outsourcing seeks to recruit young graduates to not only take charge of the front office outsourcing jobs but also do internal business functions such as human resource, research and accounting.

To help the youths, the Kolping Society, an NGO affiliated to the Catholic Church has moved on plans to train about 80 youths with hands on skills in mobile phone, computer repairs and maintenance and motorcycle repair.

Already, the plan has seen an initial 39 youths graduate with skills in mobile phone, computer maintenance and repair.

The technical services co-ordinator of the Kolping Society said: “these are skills that are on high demand and the youths are ready to tap into the government’s outsourcing plan.”

Uganda has a large pool of educated but unemployed or underemployed graduates.

Currently, universities and tertiary institutions in Uganda offload between 8,000 to 10,000 graduates into the job market annually but only a small percentage of these find gainful employment.

Last year, Uganda Youth Ministry Association facilitated a youth conference at St. Claret Parish, code named, WYD at home (the conference took place concurrently with WYD in Spain).

During ‘WYD at home’, the youth of St. Claret Parish- Nyabwiina discussed the issue of putting up a Computer training Center, to help the many youth of this parish acquire general computer skills. The center would as well offer internet and other secretarial services to this rural community, and thus generate some income towards the parish youth fund.

Uganda Youth Ministry Association is spearheading the activities of this project. For the start, we need at least 10 computers, a photocopying machine, an internet modem, a fax machine, a printer and binder.

I bring up this post for your advice, and information on how best I can be able to successfully fundraise for the project. Comment below and give in your view.

Today’s Mass Readings and a Reflection


Saturday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

2nd book of Samuel 12:1-7a.10-17.
The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: “Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.
But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him.
Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor.”
David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!
He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king of Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul.
Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’
Thus says the LORD: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'”
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.
But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.”
Then Nathan returned to his house. The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill.
David besought God for the child. He kept a fast, retiring for the night to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.
The elders of his house stood beside him urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them.

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:35-41.
On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

 

REFLECTION:

In the gospel today, Jesus had just finished instructing the people who had gathered around Him; He went into a boat and spoke to the people assembled around the shoreline.  The boat was a kind of pulpit for this sermon by the sea.  But in the continuation of the story, we learn that the boat became a dangerous place to be as the disciples and Jesus plowed towards the opposite shore.

Jesus slept in the back end of the boat while the disciples were confronted with a “violent storm” and feared for their lives as the winds threatened to capsize them.  This is the only place in the gospels where Jesus is referred to as sleeping.  We can only assume that at the end of a long day of instruction, Jesus is tired.

Imagine yourself as one of Jesus’ disciples. You have met this man who preaches with authority, heals sick people, and even raises the dead. Wonderful things just seem to sprout up wherever He goes. Then one night you go out on a boat with Him. He falls asleep, and a power­ful storm starts to lash the boat. The waves are high and swift. The boat rocks and you start taking on water. You are a fisherman, familiar with the sea and its moods, but this storm is so severe that you begin to panic. You can think of nothing but getting to shore.

We see that the disciples are threatened by the storm and fear for their lives.  Still Jesus sleeps on.  Finally they woke Him up and complained that he did not care that they were in the process of drowning.   When arose He rebuked the wind, “Quiet, be still” and the wind ceased and the waters became calm.  Then He turned his rebuke on the disciples with the question, “why are you terrified, do you not yet have faith?”

On one hand, the disciples’ ques­tion “Do you not care?” makes sense. Here they are, facing a life-threatening danger, and Jesus seems oblivious to their peril. Maybe He doesn’t care. But on the other hand, the question is very illogical. Yes, Jesus is asleep. Yes, the situation looks treacherous. But this is Jesus. This is the man who has shown, over and over again, that He can sus­pend the laws of nature. This is the man who has shown, over and over again, that He is full of mercy and compassion. Of course He cares! It’s not a question of “if” He will help them. It’s a question of “when” and “how.”

Clearly the disciples need Jesus’ help.  But that help does not come in the form they anticipated: helping them deal with the fierce wind and not drowning.  The wind turned out to be the least of the issues the situation called out from them.  Jesus’ questioning them went to the heart of the affair: their faith.

How can we fight fear with faith? The Lord is ever present to us. And in our time of testing He asks the same question: Why are you afraid? Have you no faith? Do you recognize the Lord’s presence with you, especially when you meet the storms of adversity, sorrow, and temptation? Whenever we encounter trouble, the Lord is there with the same reassuring message: “It is I, do not be afraid.”

What are the situations in our lives that threaten and demand our attention?  Serious illness of our own or of our loved ones?  Divisive situations that seem impossible to solve like hurtful separations from others?  The loss of work in troubled economic times?  The death of a daughter/son, father/mother, or of  a dear friend?  What is elicited from us in these dire situations is the same that Jesus alludes to in his searing question to his friends: faith.

Sometimes we get the feeling that God or Jesus is sleeping on the job as we experience the many threats of our lives.  Yet we can also have the graciousness to acknowledge that God’s ways and timing are not ours.  The passage in Mark’s gospel today reminds us that we are not in control of whatever threatens us deeply.

We have all been in situations that raise the panic level in our hearts. We see nothing but trou­ble, and we want only to get out as quickly as possible. It’s at times like these that we need to remem­ber that Jesus is with us. He may seem asleep. He may seem oblivi­ous to the tempest swirling around us. But this is Jesus, and He sees our need—and He cares deeply.  We are invited, like the disciples, to respond with awe at God’s ways which are way beyond what we can fully understand or articulate.

Today’s passage tells us that faith is not a matter of feelings. It’s a matter of trust, memory, and logic. If we can learn to keep our minds fixed on Jesus and his truths, we will find all the faith—and peace—we will ever need.

“Jesus, you know how frightening the storms of life can get. Help me to see you in the midst of them. Deepen my faith so that, even when you seem distant, I can still trust you to keep me safe.

 

 

Today’s Mass Readings and a reflection


Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

2nd book of Samuel 11:1-4a.5-10a.13-17.
At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful.
David had inquiries made about the woman and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of (Joab’s armor-bearer) Uriah the Hittite.”
Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he had relations with her, at a time when she was just purified after her monthly period. She then returned to her house.
But the woman had conceived, and sent the information to David, “I am with child.”
David therefore sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David.
When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers, and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well.
David then said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.” Uriah left the palace, and a portion was sent out after him from the king’s table.
But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his own house.
David was told that Uriah had not gone home. So he said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why, then, did you not go down to your house?”
David summoned him, and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk. But in the evening he went out to sleep on his bed among his lord’s servants, and did not go down to his home.
The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah.
In it he directed: “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.”
So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong.
When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David’s army fell, and among them Uriah the Hittite died.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:26-34.
He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”
He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

REFLECTION:

For centuries, Christians have talked and heard about the parable of the mustard seed. However, the point of the parable in Mark’s Gospel is not only the smallness of the mustard seed, but also the largeness of the mustard shrub “with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade” (Mk 4:32). Thus we can rightly speak of the parable of the mustard shrub.

What can mustard seeds teach us about the kingdom of God? The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God’s kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God’s word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Just as a seed has no power to change itself until it is planted in the ground, so we cannot change our lives to be like God until God gives us the power of His Holy Spirit. The Lord of the Universe is ever ready to transform us by the power of His Spirit. Are you ready to let God change you by His grace and power? The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us” . Do you believe in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus says evangelization is a lot like watching a garden. Our job is to plant the seeds, not to worry about when they will sprout. We may not know how people will react to our witness. But we can be sure that no seed sown will end up fruit­less! God even guarantees that His word will go forth and accomplish the purpose for which He sent it out.

We can’t control the mystery of conversion. Once we sow the seed of God’s word, no matter how much we may want to hurry things along, it remains God’s work! Conversion doesn’t depend on our ability to tell a good story or give a good witness. It depends on the mystery of God’s revelation in the secret place of each person’s heart. In the same way that Jesus told par­ables, knowing that people would hear them differently and respond to them differently, we know that our love and service and witness to others will elicit different responses. But even if we can’t see the growth, Jesus assures us that our work of sowing seeds will indeed bear fruit.

So what do we do? Keep sow­ing! Keep praying for people! Keep looking for opportunities to share God’s work in your life! Keep giving of yourself, letting your life tell the story of Jesus. Then just trust God to take those seeds and make them grow, bearing fruit for his kingdom!

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and transform me into the Christ-like holiness you desire. Increase my zeal for your kingdom and instill in me a holy desire to live for your greater glory. Thank you for your work in my life! Thank you for making the seed of faith sprout and grow in me, bringing me to conversion. Now teach me how to sow these same seeds in other people’s lives so that you may draw them to yourself.”

A call for 2012 Partners


 Uganda Youth Ministry Association humbly calls on your partnership for the year 2012. 

Basing on our third mission statement, Our theme for the year 2012 is “Let the youth honour Mary our Mother”.

 Providence wants to provide the church with a Cord-Marian youth now, because they bring to church a life informed and steeped in the Most tender love and stunning beauty of Mary’s virginal Heart, in these days when, more than ever before, the adulteration of love and beauty are the two standards used by the devil to ensnare the unthinking young people.

Throughout the year 2012, all our outreach programs and events shall focus on the honour to Mother Mary. UYMA continues to work very closely with the Junior Legion of Mary of St. Claret Parish-Nyabwiina, our mother parish in Mbarara Diocese. The major task being  fundraising towards the construction of a Grotto at this Parish.

 UYMA continues to use technology especially the internet to reach as many youth as possible by making daily posts on several social networking sites especially facebook and by private email service. The daily posts include; The Mass readings, a personal reflection on the readings, and Saint of the day.

 UYMA is very grateful to our 2011 partners. We have done all, with and by their financial support. We are very grateful to the Doyle family; of YOU TURNS, and to the John Walker family of Albertus Magnus AcademyThe two have been our major partners this year.

We cannot forget the support and efforts of Natalie Duff, Gudrun Lisa Korell and her husband John Micheal Wilson, John May and family and Stephen Taylor, the Hermit of Bardstown. May God bless you for your generosity. So many people especially the youth have been blessed by the support you offered to this ministry work.

 UYMA meets many demands on monthly basis, which include the cost of internet, power, transport and the livelihood of the Administrator, other than specific events which may attract special fund raising.  A percentage of every monthly collection will be tithed to the Grotto project. 

Please consider prayerfully what sort of contribution you can make to help us take ahead this ministry work. Giving online is quick and secure and all donations are tax deductible. Your gift will make it possible for us to reach tens of thousands of lay and ordained Catholics especially the youth around the world, empowering them to evangelize lapsed Catholics and form lay apostles who will take Christ to the world.

 How do you become our partner?

 You will partner with us in this ministry work by making a commitment to send us a monthly gift from your monthly blessings. It can be $5, $10, $25, $50,…….,

All depending on how much you are willing to sacrifice for the many blessings God gives you. You can consider sending us your gift as a whole year’s contribution, or any other way that will be convenient for you.

As our partner, you will be entitled to get from us a monthly work and financial report.

As you write your plan for the future, please consider helping us expand our efforts in the formation of intentional disciples. Visit www.youturns.org  and click on ‘Donate’. Then select ‘Gift to YOU TURNS and our African Outreach’. Remember to specify ‘Donation to UYMA’.

 Send an email to sbeingana@uyma.org to confirm your commitment and for details on how your gift can always be received.

May God bless you keep you.