Lwanga’s would-be Easter speech

Archbishop Lwanga during the taking of perpetual vows at Sisters of Gogonya in Kisubi, Wakiso District in 2020.

Yesterday, Msgr Charles Kasibante, the Vicar General of Kampala Archdiocese, read the last speech of the Archbishop of Kampala, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, during the 10am Mass at Rubaga Cathedral. Dr Lwanga was expected as the main celebrant and was going to read the speech. Sadly, he was found dead in his house a day before. Here is the speech.                         

“ Dear people of God, Christ is risen. He is risen indeed, alleluia! This is our traditional Easter greeting in which we express our joy and faith in the risen Lord. 

The fifth article of our creed says; he descended into hell and on the third day, he rose from the dead. Christ who suffered died and was buried is now risen. Death no longer has the last word. Evil is defeated. The tables are turned and Christ our light is the true victor in the fight against forces of darkness. 

The angel testifies as much, he is not here for he has risen, just as he said, come, see the place where he was laying as we find it in Matthew 28:6. Thus, with his faith, St Paul is able to explain and rightly so; O death where is thy sting, O death, where is thy victory? (1st letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 15: 55).

As Christians, we are an Easter people, being an Easter people has three marks. These marks are brought out well in the theme of the Archdiocese of Kampala…Let us deepen our faith, hope and love, by being good witnesses of Christ. As an Easter people, we are a people of faith, we are a people of hope, and, we are a people of love. 

…Let us strengthen our faith, hope and love, by being good witnesses of Christ. My Easter message is that it is centered on the four pillars of our Archdiocese theme which are faith, hope and love, and lastly…, brotherhood and sisterhood. 

We are a people of faith, hope and love. In the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 13: 13, as an Easter people, our life should be one that is grounded in a shape of faith. At times, we can be lost in the midst of things like Martha, Luke 10: 41 and forget that Mary has chosen the better card, Luke 10:42, to be at the feet of the Lord. 

As an Easter people, we are also a people of hope, Christian hope is grounded in the firm conviction that God is faithful and does not abandon his people. As we celebrate Easter, let us be people of love, in our families, workplaces and communities. …, we are brothers and sisters. The Holy Father, Pope Francis reminds us of our noble call towards human fraternity.  Human fraternity arises out of the respect we have to each other because we are all created in the image of God, Genesis 1: 27. 

As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we call for the unconditional release of many young people who are being held in various detention centres without being taken to court. In case, they committed crimes, let those holding them, follow the Constitution and take them to court to stand trial.

Detaining, torturing, denying them a fair hearing only breeds bitterness and anger and as it does serious damage to the cause of human fraternity. Let us come together and soberly consider the reasons behind the restlessness, the grievances, of our young people and advance lasting solutions to the issues they are raising for the good of society. 

On Good Friday, we delivered our Easter message as members of the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), who include the Church of Uganda, the Uganda Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. I want to re-echo the highlights of our Easter message. We talked about the importance of Easter and that is the resurrection of Christ, is the basis of our Christian faith. 

St Paul states, if Christ has not been raised, then, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain, 1st letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 15: 14, that is to say, without the resurrection, Jesus would have remained forever a good person who has met a tragic death like many other charismatic and revolutionary leaders. 

However, as a matter of fact, Christ is risen from the dead and so he is Lord, Romans 10: 9. We convey our condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to our brothers and sisters in Tanzania for the loss of their former president, the late Joseph Pombe Magufuli. At the same time, we congratulate her Excellency Samia Suluhu upon her installation as the 6th president of Tanzania. 

Peace and security; we also noted with concern that ungodly actions of some Ugandans who have been killing innocent people, for example, the case of a one Musa Musasizi, a resident of Mujomba Zone 6, who is suspected to have killed four women and a three months old child in a period of one month in the area of Nakulabye. 

We have also heard reports of mysterious killings in theAcholi Sub-region. We call upon all Ugandans and security forces to respect the sacredness of human life and the fundamental right to life. We should all remember that each one of us shall be judged by our words, works and therefore our actions should be geared towards building a beautiful Uganda and promoting peace and justice at all levels. 

In conclusion, dear people of God, I invite you to maintain faith, hope and love amidst the many challenges of life. I pray that in all situations of life, we as Christians may be good witnesses of Christ by living out the wisdom and the way of Jesus before the watching world. May the blessed virgin Mary and the Holy Ugandan martyrs intercede for us all that we may forge ahead with resilience, fortitude and joy as an Easter people.”  

Left to right: Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi after Christmas prayers at Rubaga Cathedral in 2016 . PHOTO / FILE