Tess Koning, a member of our Parish Pastoral Council and Principal of St Peter’s Primary school presents our Gospel Reflections this week.

Today Tess reads from the Gospel of Mark (12: 1-12) in which Jesus tells the parable of the wicked tenants. Afterwards Tess shares a little about the Ugandan martyrs, St Charles Lwanga and his Companions, whose memorial we celebrate today.

Tess says, it may seem that the faith and zeal of the early Christians didn’t continue as the Church grew more safe and powerful through the centuries, but the martyrs of Uganda remind us that persecution of Christians continued in modern times, even to the present day.

St Charles Lwanga and his companions were young martyrs of Africa in the 19th century, who were killed for opposing the King’s immoral practices with young boys and men, and for their Christianity.

Charles took over the instruction and leadership of the Christian community in Uganda after the ‘White Fathers’ were expelled. King Mwanga hated Christians and condemned to death all who refused to stand by him. Charles protected the young boys of the court and baptised as many as possible.

After being made to trek 37 miles, Charles and many others (his companions) were burnt to death. He and the other Catholic martyrs of Uganda were canonised after Mwanga’s death and the White Fathers returned.

We pray:
Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is in danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith. Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed. And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecution in other parts of the world. Amen

As we pray on this memorial to the martyrs of Uganda, Tess invites us to also consider the question… how willing am I to profess my faith and stand up to injustices around me?