IN PICTURES: MPs join Kampala Archdiocese in Way of the Cross

IN PICTURES | Members of Parliament were among public figures who joined the faithful led by the Archbishop of Kampala Diocese, His Grace Paul Semogerere, in a Way of Cross at Lubaga Cathedral on Good Friday.

The Archbishop of Kampala Diocese, His Grace Paul Semogerere, started the Way of the Cross with prayers at the steps of Lubaga Cathedral in Kampala.

 

The Way of the Cross is a traditional devotion in honour of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Known also as Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross had its origins in the Holy Land, but it did not become popular around the world until the 17th Century.

"Walking in the way of the cross” to most means “walking in the way of Christ.” This is the very foundation of our faith. The Gospel, the good news, lies in the person of Jesus. Early followers of Jesus were called “followers of the Way” – the way of Christ – how he lived, what he demonstrated, and what he taught. It was only when outsiders observed these followers as being so “Christlike,” that they called them “Christians,” meaning in effect “little Christs.”

The Gospel is beautifully embodied in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth and the life…no one comes to the Father accept by me.” The way to know God most fully is to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. 

God is discovered, encountered and increasingly revealed to us by following the way of Jesus. Religion has often inoculated people against the real Jesus, however when the Jesus of the Gospels is presented without the trappings, people are irresistibly drawn to Him.

The way of the cross at Lubaga drew in politicians like Makindye West MP Allan Aloysius Ssewanyana (National Unity Platform) and Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu of Kalungu County West (Democratic Party). Coming at a time Parliament and some particular MPs - including the Speaker - are under intense scrutiny over corruption and spending public resources at will, the way of the cross could not have been more symbolic when it involved politicians.

For politicians, it is that time to reflect. The Way of the Cross is a metaphor, which translates the Gospel of Christ into every facet of life and ministry. The Way of the Cross is a path of suffering—the via dolorosa. I have walked that road several times in Jerusalem on pilgrimage, the members of our group walking and praying together, taking turns carrying a wooden cross. That experience of traveling along the way of Jesus translates to the church walking together with all those who suffer, sharing the burden of the crosses they carry.

Fr Anthony Musaala, the charismatic 'dancing priest' once suspended indefinitely from priestly duties, was among the celebrants at Kampala Archdiocese. Because we have walked with Jesus through many Lenten journeys, we know what it means to accompany those who suffer in mind, body, or spirit; those who have suffered from any form of discrimination or dehumanization.

The Way of the Cross is also a path of joy and victory. St. Paul offers us this hope when he writes, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57). Because we have celebrated Easter and are children of the Resurrection, we proclaim a message of great hope to the world. This truth translates into a church whose ministry brings the gifts of grace, mercy, absolution, reconciliation, and rebirth.

The Easter Weekend that starts with Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified, to his resurrection on Sunday, will be an interesting moment for Ugandan leaders to reflect on their conduct. But for the politicians, it will mostly be a safe-serving moment in which they bow and show supplication to the creed but return to the same old story.

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