Today as we celebrate the memorial of St Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs of Uganda, Anne O’Brien, our Director of Mission, reads from John’s Gospel (21: 15-19) in which Jesus asks Simon-Peter to feed his sheep. Anne says at the close of his Gospel, John presents Jesus giving Simon Peter a share in his mission as the Good Shepherd, who knows his sheep and lays down his life for them.The foremost requirement for this responsibility is Peter’s love for Jesus, that’s why he asks him three times. The confession of this Jesus elicits eventually giving it up the three times he asks. Simon is to feed Jesus’ sheep through his leadership. Jesus also alludes to Simon laying down his life by signifying what kind of death with which Simon would glorify God. We are asked to be shepherds as well, which Anne says, is a great challenge for us. Today, the universal church honours the memorial of African Martyrs of St Charles Lwanga & Companions from Uganda, the first martyrs of sub-Sahara Africa.  They died in a persecution, similar those in Ancient Rome.  They weren’t baptised for very long.  Pope Paul VI canonised them in 1964 during the Second Vatican Council.Anne finishes with a prayer for these martyrs:O God, You have made the blood of martyrs the seed of Christians,Mercifully grant that the field, which is your church, watered by the blood shed by St Charles and his companions, may be fertile and may always yield you an abundant harvest. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen