Receive the warmest greetings from Comboni Lay Missionaries – Kenya. We hope you all had the best St. Valentine’s Day and a wonderful start to Lent.
We had our monthly CLM-K formation meeting this past weekend from Friday 16th February to Sunday 18th February. This month’s topic was “What is our Identity as Comboni Lay Missionary?” There are three aspects to look at: The spiritual approach, Comboni Charism and the Human aspect.
On the Human aspect, we learnt that Identity grows from discernment. We must all reflect on our values, what matters most, and what we stand for. It matters how you view yourself. Our identity affects the decisions we make. Making decisions without discernment causes strife, unhappiness and discontent with life. We also learnt that our environment affects our identity. In the famous words of Dr. Asfia Qaadir, “Our roots keep us grounded and help us remember what truly matters at the end of the day.”
On the Spiritual approach, we reflected on various scriptures that tell us what God thinks of us. One of my favourites is Proverbs 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Another favourite is 1st Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” If He who created us in His image and likeness thinks so highly of us, how dare we question his judgement? Our identity is in Christ and by his grace and mercy, He has made us worthy.
Lastly, on the Comboni Charism, we reflected on the life of St. Daniel Comboni. St. Daniel Comboni wrote: “We must pray instead that we may save many souls and go to heaven, not alone but with a great crowd of converts.” These and many more words of St. Daniel Comboni speak of his heart and his identity. He made so many sacrifices, travelling back and forth through the desert, the suffering he endured: tropical diseases, hunger, poverty, language barrier, opposition and more. Yet, he did not give up. Ordained as a priest at the young age of 23 years, he went ahead to become a Bishop and later formed the Comboni sisters who helped him with his missionary work in Khartoum, South Sudan. St. Daniel Comboni gave up his life in service to the poor and most abandoned until his death. Every single morning, he lived for the glory of God. This was his identity. As CLM-K, we must fashion our lives to match the great example set for us by our founder. “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1st Corinthians 10:31.
This weekend was also quite special for us. On Sunday we had a visit and seat down with MCCJ General Fr. Tesfaye and his Assistant Brother Alberto. They were accompanied by Fr. Juanma and Fr. Christopher. It was so lovely sharing further on the topic of identity with them. What made it more special is their experience over the years. Their sharing spoke of the goodness of the Lord. We are so thankful to you General Fr. Tesfaye, Brother Alberto, Fr. Juanma, and Fr. Chris for making the time to meet with us.
On a final note, we wish to thank all Comboni Priests stationed at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish Kariobangi for hosting us for dinner on Saturday evening. We would also like to wish our MCCJ province well during their annual assembly that began Monday 19th February and will run through Friday 23rd February.
1st Peter 1:3-5, St. Peter wrote to the Christians saying: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, which is kept in heaven for us. This Lenten season, reflect on the suffering of our Lord and be filled with hope knowing that Christ will rise from the dead and in him we have been made new.
Cecilia Nyamu, Comboni Lay Missionary – Kenya