NASSA – HIV Program




Homilies are an important means of Teaching about HIV and AIDS

  • Many people affected by the pandemic of HIV and AIDS feel stigmatized, rejected, and/or deprived of resources and opportunities
  • Reflect on how Jesus came into the world to teach us how to reach out in love and compassion to the “least of” our brothers and sisters.
  • Education continues to be the only effective “vaccine” to combat denial, ignorance, and prejudice which places people at risk of contracting HIV
  • Reflect with people on the hope for a world in which fewer people will become infected with HIV and in which those living with or affected by the disease can be treated with respect and compassion.
  • The HIV pandemic helps us to put into focus the ongoing struggle to bring Gospel justice and more equitable sharing of human and  financial resources for the sake of the poor
  • World AIDS Day (1 December) is at the beginning of Advent. Reflect on “waiting” for care and compassion that are needed by so many people affected by HIV.
  • World AIDS Day also presents an opportunity to preach about and pray in faith and hope for increased solidarity in the human family to address all the factors contributing to the vulnerability of people to contract HIV and AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.

Scriptural Texts to Inspire Homilies and other reflections about HIV

Old Testament Isaiah 42:1-7 – The Suffering Servant Isaiah 61:1-3 – Glad tidings to the Afflicted Exodus 2:23-25 – Siding with the oppressed Exodus 34:1-16 – Exploitation replaced by caring leadership 2 Kings 20:1-5 – I will heal you Proverbs 7:6-27 – The necessity of guidance and education Epistles 1 Corinthians  1:3-5 – Consolation 1 Corinthians 13 – Love James 2:14-24 – Faith expressed by action Romans 7:14-25 – The limitations one feels in facing a problem 1 John 4:7-12 – Love human and diving Gospels Matthew 25:34-36 – The Last Judgement Matthew 18:23-35 – How often must I forgive? Mark 6:7, 12-13 – Anointing of the Sick Luke 4:17-19 – Good News to the poor Luke 7:11-17 – Reaching out in compassion Luke 17:11-19 – Your faith has made you well John 6:47-51 – I am the bread of life John 8:1-11 – Lack of condemnation

AIDS Compassion Sunday – another opportunity for preaching and teaching about the pandemic

  • If World AIDS Day (December 1st ) is not a convenient time to focus on the pandemic, consideration might be given to reflection on the pandemic at some other time of the year and thus to hold “AIDS Compassion Sunday”.
  • This could give priests and pastoral workers the opportunity to address the pandemic during the homily or to invite a guest (perhaps someone living with HIV or a care-giver for such person) to share his/her journey of faith in conjunction with this experience.
  • The Prayers of the Faithful might make special mention of the needs of people living with AIDS.
  • A second collection might be held to support AIDS programmes and services.
  • AIDS information resources could be made available to parishioners.
  • A special AIDS education programme might be held on the same day.


NOTE: AIDS Compassion Sunday was developed by U.S. National Catholic AIDS Network – see for more information.

Catholic Social Teaching: a special tool for preaching and reflection about HIV and AIDS

Theme: Rights and Responsibilities of Each Member Within the Whole Human Family

    •   “The battle against AIDS ought to be everyone’s battle. Echoing the voice of the Synod Fathers, I too ask pastoral workers to bring to their brothers and sisters affected by AIDS all possible material, moral and spiritual comfort. I urgently ask the world’s scientists and political leaders, moved by the love and respect due to every human person, to use every means available in order to put an end to this scourge.”


Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in Africa, 14 September 1995, #116.   Theme:     The Call to Overcome Inequities, Exclusions, Discrimination

    • “Discrimination against those suffering from HIV or AIDS is a deprivation of their civil liberties. The Church must be an advocate in this area, while also promulgating its own nondiscrimination policies in employment, housing, delivery of medical and dental care, access to public accommodations, schools, nursing homes, and emergency services.”


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Called to Compassion and Responsibility: A Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis, 1989.   Theme: The Equal Dignity of Each Human Person in the  One Human Family

    • “Do not despair – you are not abandoned by Christ nor by us. When you find yourself in a hopeless situation on account of AIDS, Jesus, your brother, remains right next to you and never abandons you. We encourage your families and communities to accept you with love and to stand by you. We urge them not to abandon you but to continue Christ’s mission of mercy, compassion, and love. The Church loves you, welcomes you and reaches out to you in many ways.”


Southern  Africa Catholic Bishops Conference, July 30, 2001 (click here to download this presentation)


Faith-based responses to the global HIV pandemic:

exceptional engagement in a major public health emergency

(click here here to download)


Comments are closed.