Thursday 8th September | Reflection
Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, came to our world out of his great love for human beings. His birth was the beginning of our salvation and in no way diminshed the virginity of his mother Mary, but rather made it more fruitful.
Mary thus marks the dawn of a new and holy dispensation, and is a sign of hope for the whole world. May this feast of Jesus' mother's birth strengthen us and inspire us to work for peace on Earth.
Fr. Peter Knox, S.J.
Monday 9th May 2016 | THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
This solemnity is teaching us the new way of presence of the risen Lord now seated at the right hand of God the Father. As God, the Son is able to be present to our humanity and to be present everywhere. After the Ascension, Jesus is no more physically present to us but he remains present to us spiritually. This form of presence invites us to realize that Jesus Christ is for ever present to us up to the end of the world. This is good news for us, because we can still be in his presence and trust in him to build our world and transform it into a better world pleasing to God made by fraternity for our humanity.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 2nd May 2016 | MISSION AS ACTION, PASSION AND COMPASSION
Our mission as Christians is to love one another as Jesus commanded us in John 15:17. Love calls for service or action, and service is always a sacrifice. No possibility of sacrifice without compassion. It is compassion that leads to action, and then the action is taken and carried out with passion. Thus, mission , action, passion and compassion are all interwoven and rooted in love.
The love that we are called to live is an invitation to be bearers of hope. Hope that is manifested in a cordial and active presence to our brothers and sisters the Lord puts on our daily path. They are not at the end of the world as we sometimes mistakenly think. They are with us. Our mission is not only to go "ad gentes" to the people who are different from us, but also and mainly to live "inter gentes" with people here and now. The "inter gentes" implies the "trans gentes" where the mission is lived in communion with those we are serving. Communion is not an easy task. It supposes full acceptance of others as they are. Without acceptance of the other, compassion is not possible. It follows that no action can be taken, no room for love. Where there is acceptance of the other compassion lays the foundation, action builds up and love binds and seals.
For acceptance of the other to take place we need grace and conversion. For the lucky ones, conversion comes unexpectedly. This is the case of Saint Paul. For others, the majority of us, conversion comes through a gradual and conscious practice of prayer and virtue. We need to encounter God through prayer, devotions, charity and sacraments. This is the case of Saint Augustine and many other saints, Saint Ignatius included. Conversion is all-encompassing: intellectual, moral and religious.
All in all, our mission is to love one another as Christ loved us and commanded us. This love supposes conversion. It is conversion that helps us to accept the other. With the acceptance of the other, communion is possible; doors are opened for action, compassion builds ups and an action is taken with passion. That is our mission.
Ndamyumugabe Aaron, S.J.
Monday 25th April 2016 | God's Mercy In Human Life
How God's Mercy cover every reality in human being?
Pope Francis has made us rediscover the centrality of God's mercy in human life. In fact the mercy of God is his concret love for human salvation. As a psalm says the mercy of God is defined in the fact that God withold the punishment due to us. Salvation is a free gift of God, sign of his mercy. We need to rely on this to know more God and to let ouselves be transformed by such a love, and a concret love.
Fr Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 18th April 2016 | The Annunciation. (Luke 1:26-38).
The annunciation is a story of fascinating wonder. It emanates from that divine plan of God in bringing about the redemption of the human race. Succinctly, it does not only reveal God's unconditional love for humanity when the divine word of God took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but also portrays Mary's significant role in bringing forth the author of our salvation, Jesus Christ. In freedom, Mary's cooperation with God to become the mother of his son, changed the entire course of human history in that cosmic plan of salvation. Her deep faith and radical availability to this mission of God, in spite of the enormous challenges demonstrate the great love and commitment she had in accepting God's will in her life. Mary, of course, knew that her story would be questioned and doubted even by her spouse, Joseph. She knew of the death penalty prescribed for adultery in ancient Israel. But, in spite of these daunting realities, Mary's response was unwavering, "behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." Mary's submission to God was total and absolute. For Luke the evangelist, Mary is the model for all who experience the birth of Christ in their lives. Her response reminiscences the answer to all our deepest needs, that is submission to the will of God. Nevertheless, in the eyes of the world, Mary was insignificant, poor and unassuming. However, she was willing to submit herself completely to the Lord. She reveals the eternal truth that God comes only to those who are humble and poor in spirit; who acknowledge their weakness and sinfulness; those who realize they need God and cannot make it on their own. Thus, as we recall this epoch of our salvation history, we belong to those generations who honour Mary and call her blessed (Luke1:48).
Francis Onukwuli, S.J.
Monday 11th April 2016 | Who am I?
In the story of the chick-eagle of Anthony de Mello, readers would love to see the eagle flying at last. But as the story unfolds, the eagle dies at an old age, thinking it was a chicken since that was what it was told. It takes deep self-examination for one to know why he or she is created. Now the question: "who am I?" remains a crucial one. "Who am I?" may help one to know who one belongs to. Are you God's creature? Do you belong to God? Are you awakened enough to realize that you are an eagle?
Armel Setubi, S.J.
Monday 4th April 2016 | Today we are celebrating the Annunciation of the angel to Mary
God wants that human being be involved in the process of their salvation. Using an Angel to announce to Mary God's project of salvation demonstrated how respectful and trustful is our God who wants to save us with our collaboration. If our world is full of corruption and lack of truth it is due to our lack of respect and confidence in one another. Let us learn from the mystery of our salvation so that we may imitate God in his generosity so that we may become more human becoming more closely godlike. The attitude of Mary in her desire to trust in God and to accept a new horizon of life encourages us to let ourselves be surprised by God. Let us work to allow God to announce us new horizons in our lives.
By Fr. Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 28th March 2016 | Ignatian Spirituality: Discernment of Spirits.
Discernment of spirits is revealed in what St. Ignatius Loyola called the "motions of the soul." These interior movements consist of thoughts, imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires, feelings, repulsions, and attractions. Spiritual discernment of spirits involves becoming sensitive to these movements, reflecting on them, and understanding where they come from and where they lead us. In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius provides various rules for the discernment of good and evil spirits (Spiritual Exercises, 313-336). The rules deal with ways to interpret the states of consolation (joy, peace, gratitude, and the like) and desolation (depression, anxiety, fear) that people typically experience in the course of cultivating a spiritual life. Let us be inspired by the ignatian discernment of spirits during this Lenten season!
By Alain Gourane, S.J.
Monday 7th March 2016 | Ignatian Spirituality: Discernment of Spirits
Discernment of spirits is revealed in what St. Ignatius Loyola called the “motions of the soul.” These interior movements consist of thoughts, imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires, feelings, repulsions, and attractions. Spiritual discernment of spirits involves becoming sensitive to these movements, reflecting on them, and understanding where they come from and where they lead us. In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius provides various rules for the discernment of good and evil spirits (Spiritual Exercises, 313-336). The rules deal with ways to interpret the states of consolation (joy, peace, gratitude, and the like) and desolation (depression, anxiety, fear) that people typically experience in the course of cultivating a spiritual life. Let us be inspired by the ignatian discernment of spirits during this Lenten season!
By, Alain Gourane, S.J.
Monday 29th February 2016: At the source of our History “Pilgrimage to the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier at Malindi”
The Jesuit Community of Hekima University College had a pilgrimage to Malindi from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February 2016. This was planned to mark the end of the year of Consecrated Life and the beginning of the year of Mercy. It was also meant to connect us with Xavier’s experience who was one of the first companions of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Malindi is located on the Malindi bay at the mouth of Galana River.. It is located 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa. When Vasco da Gama (1498) visited Malindi, he erected a coral pillar in the shape of a cross, which is still standing today and Saint Francis Xavier along his journey from Mozambique to India, was excited to see this pillar. Xavier stopped at Malindi in March 1542. It is said that Xavier probably built an altar in the chapel that served as a house of Vasco da Gama.
It is important to notice that the Catholic Church in Malindi is marked by Saint Francis Xavier’ name. When we look at Xavier’s life, we notice the impact that he had on people. Going through the historical places, one believes that Xavier carried within him the experience of God. This is from the many accounts that are given about him especially when he saw the pillar and the cross , which drew his attention. He did not leave Malindi without building an altar. This is the experience of God that Xavier had in this place, which greatly indicates that he celebrated the mass at this altar.
Xavier influenced the life of many people because of his deep experience of God. He was not originally scheduled to make this journey, but of one of his companions, got sick and Father Ignatius had to look for a replacement, which turned out to be Fr. Xavier. We are called as sons of Ignatius and companions to keep this fire burning and continue to be missionaries in our time.
- Mkenda Festo S.J., Jesuit Historical Institute
- Ghansah John S.J., Abstract of the Homily given by at the Chapel of Sisters of Saint Francis-Malindi.
By, Gabriel Kunonga, S.J.
Monday 15th February 2016 | Church marks the first week of Lent
This week the Church marks the first week of Lent. As we know lent is special and holy moment that mother church set aside for her faithful to prepare for the celebration of the great mysteries of faith namely the Paschal mystery. In addition to the three pillars of: prayer, fasting and thanksgiving, the church proposes a reflection on Misericordiae Vultus (the face of mercy) of God. In his homily during the opening of the year of mercy pope Francis appropriately said that ‘this extraordinary holy year is itself a gift of grace’. To receive this gift and to obtain the indulgences during this time the church urges the faithful to experience the love of God who consoles and pardons and instils hope through entering the door of mercy. In the Archdiocese of Nairobi four special doors have been opened in four Churches: at Resurrection Garden – Karen, Divine Mercy Church – Kayole, Holy Family Basilica and St. Patrick’s Church – Thika. May this period of lent which occurs during this extraordinary jubilee year be a source of deep experience of God’s mercy which is infinite
By, Cyrus Mwangi, S.J.
Monday 8th February 2016: Diaconate ordination and sense for the Church
On the 6th February 2016, his Excellency Mgr Rodrigo Meijah, SJ has ordained 17 deacons for the Church. Ordaining deacons is providing ministers of the Eucharist and the Words of God, ministers to serve the people of God who are meek and humble to let God communicate himself through them to the people. If their ministry is well done, the church will be more and more at the service of the poor and the little ones, and therefore, it will give a real witness of Christ came to serve and not to be served.
We wish all our deacons a happy minstry.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 1st February 2016 | Concluding the year of Consecrated life
Tomorrow with the feast of the Presentation of Jesus, we officially conclude the year of Consecrated life. During all this Year, we have experienced lot of graces given by God to strengthen the Church and to give more life to the world. We expect all religious to bear more fruit after this year of special focus on religious life. Religious as called to witness of God preferential love stressed by mercy and generosity in a world where everything is paid and where nothing is gratuitous. At the beginning of every human being has been a free gift from God who has given life without any other merit of human being. Let us give ourselves fully to the giver of life and all benefices so that our world may become a home for all.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 25th January 2016: Relevance of the Word of God
Yesterday, the liturgical texts focused on the relevance of the Word of God for our growth. In the book of the prophet Nehemiah, the elected people, after its return from exile in Babylon got to be welcome as people of God listening to the Word of God through the Law of Moses. In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus has read and commented the passage of Isaiah where the prophet was talking about a mysterious person who will be consecrated by the Spirit of God. And Jesus has concluded that this mysterious person was him and therefore the prophet was accomplished. Listening to the word of God leads us to meet and know Jesus. As Saint Jerome said, the ignorance of the Holy Scripture is ignorance of Christ. So let us seek Jesus through our frequent reading of the Gospel.
Fr Joachim Zoundi, S..J
Monday 18th January 2016 | The indulgences
In the year of mercy, we are invited to receive indulgences. What is the meaning of indulgence in the Church? We know that through the sacrament of reconciliation we receive God forgiveness of our sins. But something remains after our confession call reliquiae peccati a kind of habit to sin, some traces of our sins doing in a way that we remains somehow not totally purified. We need to be purified from these traces, and the indulgences are God actions in the church to free us from these traces of sins after our confessions. So it is important for us to take profit of these indulgences offered to the occasion of the year of mercy.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 11th January 2016 | The year of Mercy in the Church
Mercy said Pope Francis in his Misericoriae Vultus is Jesus of Nazareth in whom God made himself visible and touchable. God’s mercy is without end and expresses His great love for those who are lost, weak and unable to walk on the paths of life. So in his generosity, God gives us his mercy to renew us and to lead us to life everlasting. So we need to be merciful toward one another to become really God’s children. Concretely this means; our capability to be patient and to forgive one another as God forgives us, and to work hard for the good of all humanity imitating god’s own action of benevolence to all.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, S.J.
Monday 7th December 2015: Today we are commemorating Saint Ambrose of Milan
This saint was a model of righteousness and mercy, a pastor preoccupied with the good of his herd.
He was elected bishop while as a governor of Milan he was reconciling Arians and Catholic in the Cathedral of Milan whereas he was not yet baptized. The congregation in this Cathedral was looking for a bishop to reconcile the two opposed faction of the church in Milan and as Ambrose was successfully reconciling it, they decided to make him bishop. Despite Ambrose vigorous protestations he was made bishop who revealed himself to be a fighter against heresies and evil power to reestablish catholicity in Milan. He was the first to introduce choral song in the Church whereas he was kept in prison with a catholic congregation in the cathedral of Milan so that even the militaries joined them to sing the praise of God. He used to sell the well of the Church to ransom captives. This reminds us the mission of the Church today in a world full of evil and egoism to be bearers of the Good News of the Gospel to all human beings. Happy feast to all the Ambrose.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 30th November 2015: The period of Advent
Yesterday we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. During four weeks we will prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus who has already come and will comes again. This period recalls us to be vigilant and active in charity, caring for one another in a world full of egoism and destruction of others and the environment we are called to show our concern about all the creatures of God in order to welcome Jesus in every reality of God each day of our life. So let us open our hearts to welcome one another and through this be more aware of Jesus coming at Christmas.
Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 17th November2015: The Eschatological expectation at the end of this liturgical time
In these last Sundays our readings from the Bible show us some signs of eschatological end. To be sure the end of the world remains for us a mystery. But we can do something at this regard. The main call to live worthily our expectation for Christ to come back to judge the living and the dead, consists in our capacity to keep hope and doing our best to keep acting with charity on the face of the earth. This is possible if we trust in Jesus words inviting us not to fear but to keep faith in him and his love for us. Then we have to maintain such love up to Jesus’ coming back to lead us to the kingdom of God. So keep faith.
By Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 9th November 2015:
Last Saturday was a joyful day as the community witnessed the institution of ministries of Acolyte and Reader. This short reflection seek to deepen the understanding of the duties and responsibilities proper to these ministries.
Lector comes from Latin legere which means to read. A lector/ reader is appointed for a function proper to him, that of reading the word of God in the liturgical assembly. Accordingly he is to proclaim the readings from sacred scripture in mass (except gospels), recite psalms when psalmist is absent, voice the intentions for the general intercessions in absence of a deacon or cantor, instruct the faithful for the worthy reception of the sacrament and carry the book of gospel in procession when deacon is absent.
Acolyte comes from Greek akolouthos in Latin ‘acolytes’ meaning ‘follower’. Acolyte then is a person who follows and assists the priest during worship. It is duty of an acolyte to attend to the service of the altar; to assist the deacon and priest in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of mass; in distribution of communion as auxiliary minster, give viaticum, conduct service, train altar servers, expose/repose blessed sacrament (but not give blessing) and purify the sacred vessels after communion.
So let us pray for the newly instituted acolytes and readers to serve devotedly in their capacities Ad Majorem Dei Glorium.
By Cyrus Mwangi, SJ
Monday 2nd November 2015: Commemoration of all the departed brothers and sisters
Yesterday, we celebrated with great joy the solemnity of All Saints, attesting the grace of God imparted to an immense crowd of elected people who remained faithful to the will of God so that they have been available enough to welcome God’s salvation and are now enjoying his presence.
Today, we are praying for all the dead people whose only God knows the faith. It is an occasion for us to pray for all our departed beloved so that God mercy may cleans all their sins and lead them to his presence to rejoice with all the saints in God’s kingdom. So we are praying today for our parents, friends, and all human beings who need our prayer in solidarity with all the departed people for we are all brothers and sister without any discrimination because God does not make distinction between human being.
By Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 26th October 2015: Jesus’ Prayer in John Chapter 17
John chapter 17 of the Gospels is a particularly profound and rich prayer, replete with details of Jesus’ desires for a new people that will emerge on account of following his values. In this chapter we see how Jesus sincerely and earnestly prays for the unity of believers and their protection from the evil one. The contextual position of this chapter in John’s gospels is one worth noting. This chapter is an immediate precursor to our Lord’s Passion in which the supreme sacrifice will become the ultimate offering for the redemption of humanity.
In the prayer of Jesus in chapter 17:20, Jesus asks the Father, “I pray not only for them but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you …” Doing a Lectio Divina on this passage, one would think of a Will, which is often crafted by a person who is aware of an impending death. In John 17:20 Jesus offers his Will to God, Our Father, on behalf for his new people, us the Believers. In its essence, it is a prayer not of despair, but rather one of hope, love and trust in the new people founded on Jesus’ values. The conviction that Jesus prayed for you and for me justifies and is reason enough to face the future with confidence. There is immense energy in people who discover that their God’s children and that they are united with Him, in His mission for the world. This is the assurance we receive in the prayer of Jesus in John 17.
Therefore, ours is a particularly privileged position as believers, that Jesus offered his life for us and that he also prayed for us on account of believing the Word of the apostles.
By Andrew SIMPASA, SJ
Monday 19th October 2015: “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.” Mathew 25:40
This text from Mathew is not new to us and it resonates with a phrase that our own Pedro Arrupe came up with, “Preferential option for the poor”. This term has come to be one of our identities since then. This phrase itself supposes an apostolic obligation not only on our part but to many who are privileged to get Jesuit education as well as our collaborators. It is evident that this phrase has been largely employed by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI not only to elaborate some concepts but also to expand the understanding of it in diverse Christian contexts. Obviously this phrase has become of the important development in the catholic social teaching in our present times. It has been reflected in the canon law as “The Christian faithful are also obliged to promote social Justice and mindful of the precepts of the Lord, to assist the poor”.
In his apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis calls for the inclusion of the poor and later solidarity with the poor as not only sporadic acts of generosity but also having a new mentality, a mind that think of others too. In our every day interactions and conversations among ourselves here in Hekima, we come across the words; Poverty and Poor. Obviously we are aware of various forms of poverty and vulnerabilities but what more can we do for God? This phrase calls for an active advocacy for the poor and vulnerable and the demand for justice. At the end of it all we will realized that it is not for us. By Victor Awiti, SJ
Monday 12th October 2015: October, Month of Mary
During the all month of October the Catholic Church pray the rosary. Mary is our Mother of Heaven a powerful intercessor for us. Each of us is invited to pray the rosary for the good of our humanity with the certitude that our Lady Blessed Virgin Marie will take our prayer to the Son and to the Father for our good. We can pray particularly for the synod of the family that God may help the Church to take more care of our family and help them to grow according to God will and the good of many people.
By Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 5th October 2015: Final Vows - Fr. Emmanuel Foro, SJ
On Saturday 3rd October, Fr Emmanuel Foro professed his final vows in the Society of Jesus after 22 years. These vows mean for he who does them a full commitment in religious life, becoming through them a full Jesuit, ready to be sent everywhere if need be for the mission if the one doing these vows is profess. The good health of the Society of Jesus depend also on the quality of his professes who are priests totally committed to perform the mission of the Society in the Catholic Church, in order to work hard for the redemption of the souls. Even if it takes time for a Jesuit to profess his final vows, this event is always great and full of meaning because it shows that the Society of Jesus gives its best for Christ in order to contribute highly to the evangelical mission of the Church.
By Fr Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 28th September 2015: The Beauty of Religious Life
Have you ever entered a dark room? If yes, the first thing to do is to switch the light on or to light a spotlight or to allow our eye get adjusted to the new environment. We all know that we need light to see things around, to move around comfortably, and even to appreciate beauty. For instance, you cannot appreciate the beauty of a bouquet unless you are able to see and even when possible smell it!
Talking of a bouquet, on Saturday 26th September, 2015, here at Hekima University College we had a similar experience of appreciating a bouquet which is our religious life. We had a moment of encounter with each other where we got to appreciate the beauty of various congregations. I find the image of a bouquet appropriate to illustrate the way various men and women strive to live the gospel values in various congregations. We know that a good bouquet is made of a number of flower cuttings, of course it can be made of single flower specie, but even at that, the bouquet will have elements or shades of various colours such as green, yellow, bright or darkened areas, etc. In the same way various religious congregations and institutes in a variety of ways seek to bring the light of the gospel to our fellow men and women. As religious we seek to be witnesses of the joy of the gospel to the people we minister to in diverse apostolates; we seek to be that beautiful scent of Christ to the people we encounter.
The Joy of religious life as Pope Francis tells us involves sharing our lives joyfully with the people we encounter. It entails drawing from the wells of our founders in order to nurture and nourish our present and yield bountifully in the future. The concluding ritual in Hekima chapel was lighting of candles and various prayers. The light could symbolize the gospel message, but it could as well be 'the light that lights other lights' that is, the founding charism or spirit of our various founders that has inspired and continue to inspire our various vocations. By living our various vocations we are called to the light that illuminates the values of the gospel and that beautiful scented bouquet that attract people to Christ.
By Patrick M. Ng'ang'a, SJ.
Monday 21st September 2015: God's call for life
Today 21th September 2015, we celebrate the feast of Saint Mathew Apostle. Jesus has called Mathew not at the same time as the others like Peter James, John… Why at this precise moment and note before or after? In the call of Mathew sometimes similar as in the case of God choice of David is seen. When the prophet Samuel went to Jesse’s family, he passed through all his seven children before finding David the small one. David Heart was oriented to God, as Mathew heart also. God comes to us at the right moment to invite us for life, don’t miss this time of salvation.
By Fr Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 14th September 2015: Feast of the Holy Cross of Jesus
The cross in itself is an object of torture and derision well known in the Roman Empire. Jesus the Son of God has been crucified to redeem the whole humanity from death, evil and sin and to destroy the power of the Devil. Jesus cross has been a dreadful weapon of God love to destroy hate and all kind of evil in order to restore for all human being the possibility of salvation. Through his Cross Jesus has redeemed us. By Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Monday 7th September 2015
On the 8th September, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God. An important event which opened the possibility of the realization of God’s will of redeeming the whole humanity with her collaboration. Exempted from original sin and fully committed to God’s will, she has capsized Eva disobedience contributing to the Redemption of humanity planed by God. By Fr. Joachim Zoundi, SJ
Mary, Mother of Africa
On April 30, the Church celebrated Mary, Mother of Africa. Our Lady is celebrated in many places around the world, from Brazil to Russia, Africa to Asia. The remarkable thing is that her presence always speaks to our local culture – from Our Lady of Guadalupe to Mexican peasants to Our Lady of Akita in Japan. Mary is thus often the sign of God's love for each and all peoples, uniting us in our uniqueness, calling us in Africa, and all nations into the peace of God's Kingdom. By Fr. Peter Knox, SJ