Fr. Sylvester Kaemana
THE CONFESSION OF A PRIEST
The Koinonia John the Baptist has always been a school of personal prayer with the Bible. But I seldom used the method when back at home. Like a light switch, I was on and off. On the contrary, Jesus says to me, “you are the light of the world.” But the switch cannot give light to the house unless it is connected to the source of power. If the light switch cannot light an unconnected house then the Priest cannot set the parish on fire, unless he is connected to the Word of God.
On Monday 2 August 2021, meditating on 2 Kings 19:4-8 preparing for Sunday Homily, I was touched by the message of the Angel to Elijah in verse 7; “wake up and eat otherwise the journey will be too difficult for you.” The Holy Spirit convicted me for not feeding on the Word of God to my satisfaction and that is why the journey is difficult. The journey becomes difficult when parishioners are used by the adversary to attack the priest; when Christians trivialise the Word; when they walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit; when they pull in the opposite direction. These can result in anger, Frustration, bitterness, and unforgiveness if the priest is not connected to the source of power.
It was clear, the Holy Spirit was not in control, I was. Since then, to wake up and eat the Word of God using the one-hour personal prayer became my daily bread and the results are amazing: I am peaceful, joyful, experiencing freedom in the Holy Spirit, healing, restoration, renewal, and empowerment, regardless of all the storms, cyclones and hurricanes blowing around me. Praise the Lord, Alleluia
Join the Fight
There are many different ways to prepare the soil for new growth and strangely, one of them is by fire!
When I first arrived in South Africa, I was very surprised to see huge fields of grass deliberately set alight and consumed by fire. Beginning during the winter months of June until September, the fire seemed to devour everything around us. Initially, this sight filled me with sadness. However, I was astonished to discover afterward that the function of the fire, was not to devour, destroy and damage the fields, but to purify it and so prepare it for a new season of growth. I learned to see in the burnt fields the promise of an abundance of fresh, green grass that was about to grow back! Being able to see in this way is nothing else but HOPE!
During the last few months, it seemed as if there was a great fire burning around us: a fire that physically burnt the South African land; a fire of suffering and tribulation caused by Covid-19 and by violence and poverty. This fire also began to burn inside some of us, trying to devour our trust in God; in his Omnipotence and in his Infinite Love. Faith is under fire!
At the same time, the prophetic Spirit is opening our eyes of faith. A prophetic message from the environment of Koinonia in different parts of the world is reaching us: The opportune time for new sowing is coming. The soil is getting ready!
This is the important thought that I wish to share with you...
The fire that you may see and experience in you and around you is not to destroy but to purify! Faith must be tried to purify us from any distrust; from any pretense that God acts as we want him to act; from any desperation that tells us that He does not listen to us and from any self-dependence that still makes us try to manage on our own.
With humble hearts let us ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of Hope!
So even though we are still in the middle of winter, surrounded by fire and smoke, we can already catch a glimpse of spring approaching. The fields are about to be covered with fresh green grass. It is the time for new sowing of the Word of God in our lives, in our families, in our cities, and in South Africa!
"Arise, my love, my beautiful one", says Song of Songs, "for behold, the winter is past ... the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." (Song of Songs 2: 10-12). Arise Koinonia!!! Arise our Lord’s beautiful one!
Get ready for Spring. Your faith is purified. The soil is ready. Now may the voice of your Testimony be heard in our land!
Jesus you are my everything!
Christ is Risen! When I first received the news that I was going to do my vows, I was so happy but after a few days I started to ask myself many questions- How exactly is this going to work? I am in a foreign country and due to added Covid restrictions, I knew that no member of my own family would be able to attend.
I really did not expect the celebration that we had- a beautiful mass, the presence of our Bishop Stanley and of course good food, cakes and gifts as well. There was a beautiful sense of unity and collaboration between both consecrated and lay members of Koinonia from Pretoria, Durban, and Umzimkulu. I felt unity everywhere, in everything, and with everyone. From the start to finish I was feeling a great joy within me. I felt the presence of Jesus among us and the sadness of the absence of my own family and all the worries I had were gone.
After coming home that night I was lying on my bed and remembering all the events of the day and I said to myself "Indeed I believe the words Jesus spoke in Luke 18: 29-30 'I assure you that everyone who leaves home, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will receive much more.'" I said "Jesus you are my everything and in You I have found much more than anything I had before."