Martyrs Day 2021: Subdued celebration as multitudes attend virtually
In faith let us embrace this opportunity as guidance from the Holy Spirit that we should all spiritually internalize the example set for us by the Uganda Martyrs, that is, their deep faith, deep charity and of loving God to the point of shedding blood
The Uganda Martyrs Day celebration for the second year was celebrated under the COVID-19 measures with a few invited physical guest guests while the other multitudes attended virtual via various media channels from both Anglican and Catholic shrines.
Dioceses and pilgrims for the 2021 Martyrs celebrations held at Namugongo shrines were prepared by Masaka Diocese presided over by Bishop Silverus Jjumba.
While the liturgical Choir from Masaka echoed their songs, Bishop Silverus said that though the celebration seemed to look like the body of Christ is scattered, it’s not in disarray.
“This year, we assemble under exceptional circumstances. A slim number of the faithful are here physically. The multitudes are at home in virtual attendance. Not that they wished to stay away and watch television or listen to radios or indeed switch on social media platforms. No, it is because the Covid-19 pandemic has dictated and forced us into this terrible situation. We look like the dismembered body of Christ. We are scattered, but it would not be right to say we are in disarray”
Bishop JJumba, who described this year’s celebration as lukewarm, urged the faithful to accept the sober celebrations as the will of God.
“It is the same God calling us in these two years (of Covid-19) to move away from the ordinary merry-making, the pomp and ululations with which many of us celebrate June 3 – the day of commemorating the Uganda Martyrs,” he said. Adding, “In faith let us embrace this opportunity as guidance from the Holy Spirit that we should all spiritually internalize the example set for us by the Uganda Martyrs, that is, their deep faith, deep charity and of loving God to the point of shedding blood,” urged the Masaka prelate.
He called upon all Ugandans to reconcile while referring to recently concluded polarized general elections which as marred by violence, intimidation, and death while calling upon Ugandans to internalize the legacy of forgiveness bequeathed to them by the Martyrs and respect divergent views and embrace justice.
The Bishop consoled families, friends and Ugandans who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19 and other forms of death and encouraged them to forge ahead, in faith, in spite of their loss and pain.
“Let this sadness, lukewarm-ness, this kind of emptiness reassert itself into a vibrancy for the crucified Lord. In this apparent mood of desolation, let us grow fresh vigour for our faith just as scripture says, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces much fruit,” said Bishop Jjumba.
The event at the Catholic shrine attracted various guest from government, Buganda Kingdom, other dioceses including The Katikiro of Buganda Mayiga Charles, The deputy Speaker of Parliament Hon Amongin Betty, Opposition leaders like Hon Robert Kyagulanyi