Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, has issued a call for peace and an end to global conflicts, highlighting specific regions such as the Holy Land (Israel & Palestine), Russia, and Ukraine. Speaking at Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine-Minor Basilica during Mass on Sunday, January 21, 2024, Secretary-General Scotland, in Uganda for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and G77+ Summits in Kampala, urged all Ugandans to pray for global peace, emphasizing the importance of their prayers.
In her address, Rt Hon Scotland drew parallels with the day’s readings, comparing people’s reluctance to serve society to Jonah’s initial hesitation to serve God. She expressed hope that more individuals would respond affirmatively when called to lead God’s people. Acknowledging the world’s challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change disasters, and food insecurity exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, she appealed to Christians to pray for those suffering and emphasized the need to witness God’s love and mercy.
“Many of us think we are small, simple, or insignificant to cause change in the world. However, today’s readings show that God calls simple people like Jonah. We may be scared, but God is willing to send us to His people if we only say, ‘I will go,’” she noted.
Rt Hon Scotland shared her life story as a testimony, recounting her humble origins in a small fishing village in the Dominican Republic. She emphasized that her achievements were attributed to the grace of God.
Patricia Janet Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, PC, KC, a British diplomat, barrister, and politician, currently serves as the sixth Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations. Elected at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, she assumed office on April 1, 2016, breaking barriers as a woman of many firsts.
She prayed for people to heed the Lord’s voice, observe what He places before them, touch the lives of those in need, and actively spread His word. Rt Hon Scotland also urged prayers for peace and strength for leaders to make sound decisions.
“Your prayers hold tremendous power. Mothers, let your touch linger on your children’s heads; always pray for them. Fathers, your presence is crucial for your children. Bless them, and they will undoubtedly go far,” she advised.
During the homily, Fr Ulman Male, the rector of Munyonyo Minor Basilica, reminded Christians that the day’s readings shared a common theme of detachment for the greater good. He stressed that every Christian’s priority should be their relationship with God, citing the disciples’ transformation from simple fishermen to devoted servants of the Lord.