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EASTER/ Rose (Uganda): I will tell you what it means to “rise again” in Kampala

ROSE BUSINGYE describes the Way of the Cross in Kampala, Uganda, and what Christ’s resurrection means for the people of Africa and everywhere around the world. 

Women selling necklaces in Kampala Women selling necklaces in Kampala

It is amazing how we should be nothing and instead everything is saved. Nothing is lost. We never reflect enough on this, on what happens again on this Easter day. I, but it is true for each of us, with his poor mortal flesh, could have been thrown away and instead I have been saved.

Can we really take our eyes away from this fact, forgetting ourselves and what we are? We were lost, our selves were destroyed by our weakness and our fragility, but He came and said: I did not lose you. This is the event of Easter.

We look at our days, and it seems that we are defined by our inability, our limits, and our sin. How could we think that salvation would come? It was humanly inconceivable. But Christ came, offered himself for us, and rose again. He entered into history and became a daily, familiar, friendly presence. He came and saved us. From today on, all things belong to Him, all are in Him.

With Easter not only is everything saved, but we are preferred. The Lord has chosen us. Not only did we not lose anything, but we gained everything. Everything acquires its definitive meaning in Him. I thought about this while we were doing the Way of the Cross through the streets of Kampala on Friday, during the Paschal Triduum. It was a Way of the Cross that might have surprised many Catholics because it involved people of all religions. Yes, even Muslims because where we are, at least up until now, Muslims respect other religions, and that is how it is for everyone.

In all of us there is something that says that death is not everything. It is enough to look at our lives without preconceptions. Nothing is enough for us because nothing can fill our infinite desire. All this becomes very clear in death, especially here in Africa, A person is dying, yet cannot stop desiring and hoping. Where we are, a person who is dying is serene because he is convinced that he is going somewhere else, and that everything does not end with him. In Africa, you do not die! This is the religious tradition of this land, where when you die, you simply change your way of life and another life awaits.

But then, why is reality not enough? Because our selves, what we are - right now – interests us more than anything else. In Africa at least it is easier to believe in the resurrection. If Christ is risen, He is no longer in the tomb. He is with us. But where do we see Him? If He is risen, then it is that presence that will change us now. That is more real than anything else, much more real than all the spirits of Africa.