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MEMORIAL OF SAINT CHARLES LWANGA AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS, JUNE 03, 2021



A Reading according to 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14


It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested

and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,

to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.

One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:

"What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?

We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors."


At the point of death he said:

"You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,

but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.

It is for his laws that we are dying."


After him, the third suffered their cruel sport.

He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,

and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:

"It was from Heaven that I received these;

for the sake of God's laws I disdain them;

from him I hope to receive them again."

Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage,

because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.


After he had died,

they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.

When he was near death, he said,

"It is my choice to die at the hands of men

with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him;

but for you, there will be no resurrection to life."


REFLECTION:

"It is my choice to die at the hands of men

with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him."


St. Charles Lwanga and companions lived in the 19th century in what is now Uganda. He served as a page and later as major-domo in the court of King Mwanga II. The king resisted colonization. One of the methods he used was to try to make Christians renounce their faith. He was also a homosexual pedophile who would send sexual advances with the court pages.


Saint Charles (a baptized Catholic) often protected the boys from the King's advances. Eventually the King called upon all his court and demanded the Christians renounce their faith. St. Charles and the royal pages declared their fidelity to their religion, upon that, they were condemned to death. He and his companions, a total of 22 men, were burned alive for holding onto their beliefs.


St. Mattias Murumba, St. Andrew Kagwa, St. Charles Lwanga and 19 others of the young royal servants were beatified in 1920 and canonized on June 22, 1964 by Pope Saint Paul VI. The youngest of the boys was about 12-13 years old, St. Kizito, who was often shielded from the King by St. Charles.


It took great courage for these young men to oppose the prideful King and his misguided sexual appetites. They are truly a model for our current world, where not agreeing with immoral acts, and upholding moral Christian values can be considered a hate crime.


During the month of June there is heavy marketing into colorful merchandise for us to purchase/display. Many, including many Catholics, proudly display these in "the name of tolerance".


Let us remember instead, that since the 19th century, the month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


On His own words to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus tells us:

"I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends for the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars. 
I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honor It, and cause It to be honored."

This year, let us joyfully celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) this Sunday, June 06 and the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 11.


Let us withdraw into His Heart, and ask Him to fill us with His Divine Love for the Eucharist and the Truth. Ask His Holy Mother to help us love her Son with the tender love of her Immaculate Heart. Pray that our weakness and fears don't overcome us due to social pressure.


God bless y'all!



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