EMY – August: Women

Topic for August: Women
Saint to contemplate: Blessed Mother Mary, the master piece of the holy Trinity

The role model of girls and women that are exposed today are related to fashion, dating, marital and any interpersonal relationships as well as professional careers. Unfortunately, they do not deal with their future role as mothers. These models appeal to appearance, to fast fading popularity in the world of entertainment. Often they are of questionable integrity, thereby persistently ignoring the Christian and moral implications of womanhood.

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

by Fr Odise SDB

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In our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah (Is 55:1-3) the Lord invites Israel to come and enjoy the nourishing presence of God and His blessings, and thereby experience spiritual satisfaction. This section highlights not only the amazing provisions of God, but also that these provisions are free. In contrast to those who charge the thirsty for a drink, God offers drink to his people, not only water, but wine also. In addition, all these are for mahhala (free of charge) (v. 1). The rhetorical questions (v. 2) continue the previous thought, emphasising the futility of spending hard-earned money on food that will not nourish. God calls His people to eat what is good and rich without charge. The figurative nature of the previous verses is evident in what follows (v. 3). Though physical sustenance will surely be provided, Israel will be sustained through their obedience to the Lord and His provision of the everlasting covenant, a reference to the new covenant (see Jr 31:31-34), guaranteeing God’s ongoing nourishment. Continue reading “Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A”

It was a joke until it hit home

by Vusizwe Motsa

When the outbreak of an unknown disease was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, nobody really paid much attention and we all thought it was ‘’their disease’’. I remember someone making a joke that China wasted an opportunity to name the virus with a name that recognises its genesis easily, like ‘’Kung-Fu virus’’. A plethora of jokes were made and those ludicrous jokes were funny until the pandemic hit Italy, spreading across the World and eventually our African continent. Suddenly, we woke up and paid attention. It was a joke until it hit home. The same virus that people were naive about was suddenly among us, affecting our own people and rearing its hideous head.

Nowadays, the coronavirus disease 2019, popularly known as COVID-19 and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020, is causing unfathomable havoc in the whole World. The Kingdom of eSwatini was not spared. Cases are skyrocketing daily and we have surpassed the thousand mark of positive cases, with death cases increasing as well. Since March 2020, when the lockdown was first put into effect, it seemed the right thing to do to combat the spread of the virus. But that also brought new challenges: people lost their jobs, businesses were closed, poverty levels took a dive for the worst, schools and churches were shut down, the economy was abruptly affected, etc. Continue reading “It was a joke until it hit home”

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr N. Vilakati

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The ultimate treasure is non-other than God Himself.

Once more on the 17th Sunday, ordinary time, we are called to go out, look out for the greatest of the treasures one could ever find. Most of us go for those treasures that could be physically or materially perceptible. Probably someday, we ought to pose questions to ourselves, is everything valuable a physical reality or can there be something more good than that which I see, that which brings me closer to God, and brings solace to my heart. In the gospel, a question arises, as to what is it that one treasures the most or how you keep it from being lost or stolen. From the reading we hear that the man went in his joy to sell everything. He sold everything because he had found a treasure worth possessing above all else he had. He did not, however, had enough to buy the treasure. Fortunately, he only needed enough to buy the field. In a similar fashion, God offers his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy as incomparable treasure at a price we can afford! We can’t pay the full price for the life which God gives us; but when we exchange our life for the life which God offers, we receive a treasure beyond compare.
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Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr N. Vilakati

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Growth and transformation from within adversities is our Call.

Many of us grow within confines of society, either with a family, a village or those from urban areas, towns. Sometimes we are aware that those within ourselves are not intending to do good for you, personally. Yet as Christians we are called to be jolly, smiley and adopt the African adage that the rise of an individual from a village is the development of a nation. But lo and behold, that is not always the case. There are moments of travesties, challenges, sorely because we grow within weed. But a malicious weed-sowing can tell us something about the nature of the kingdom of God as seen in Matthew 13:25. Here Jesus uses a common everyday example of the time, like that of planting, harvesting, and sorting the good fruit from the bad. Weeds can spoil and even kill a good harvest if they are not separated and destroyed at the proper time. Uprooting them too early, though, can destroy the good plants in the process. Continue reading “Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A”

June seemed a bit quiet!

by Sr. Elsa Joseph 

Vegetable garden at hope house

The month of June was a quiet month with only a few clients with severe pressure sores, we had to battle with the wounds and it took a while to show some improvements. The fear of COVID 19 is still in the hearts of all the clients, staff and care givers. With the low immune system of the clients who are under our care we had to be very vigilant in admitting clients at the facility. Mr. D came from the hospital with a very deep pressure sore, his condition was very very serious. Another man came in very ill and is recovering now.

We have a vegetable garden which provides fresh vegetables to our clients to add to the balanced diet. This provides a speedy recovery for our clients. Continue reading “June seemed a bit quiet!”

EMY – July: Youth

Topic for July: Youth
Saint of the month: St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco (1815–1888) was born in Italy to a poor farming family. His father died when he was two, leaving his religious instruction to his pious mother. At the age of nine he had his first of many powerful visions which would come throughout his life. In it Jesus and the Virgin Mary showed him that he was to instruct poor, wayward boys and bring them back to God. As a priest he began ministering to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to desperate conditions in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Don Bosco became a mentor and spiritual director to them, inspiring them to a life of virtue and saving many from a future of crime and poverty. He met with them as a group – called the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales – and catechised them as a kind spiritual father. Continue reading “EMY – July: Youth”

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A

by Fr N. Vilakati

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You are nor rock, nor hard surface, but “The fertile ground where the seed that has fallen has yielded a fruitful harvest”.

Many people are so much of pessimist, about life, about love and other pertinent issues affecting their lives. This 15th Sunday in ordinary time, let us look at things on a positive perspective about the self, others and God. Looking at the parable of the sower today, we could jump to the conclusion that only a negligent or wasteful farmer would sow seeds where obstacles to growth are so many. We could be tempted to say, by sheer luck or unexpectedly good weather could assist the farm to be profitable in the end. On the contrary we see that Jesus’ message is that God’s reign is at hand. The point of the parable is that the farmer has not wasted his seed in you, just as much as God never gives up on you. Continue reading “Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – Year A”