Ss Charles Lwanga & Companions, martyrs
9th Week in Ordinary Time : Wednesday 3rd June 2020
2 Tim 1:1-3, 6-12; Ps. 123(122) 1-2, 2
Mk 12:18-27 (Ps Wk I)
Probably not many readers of SHALOM here in Asia have any devotion to Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions or even any knowledge about them. Yet there are several compelling reasons why we should celebrate this feast-day.
Most of the Martyrs we commemorate in our liturgy were martyred in the early ages of the Church in places we scarcely know anything about. In contrast, Charles and his Companions were martyred within living memory, in a modern country in Africa. The king was a paedophile and preyed on young boys.
There were a number of young boys working in the king’s court, whom Charles converted to Christ and whom he strove to keep safe from the King; they became his companions in martyrdom — martyrs for the faith and sexual purity.
Charles was beheaded, and his body was burned on October 18, 1964. The martyrdom of these young African men is part of the modern history of the Church: a reminder that not only the early ages of the Church were the ages of Martyrs, but every age is also a potential age of Martyrs.
St Charles and Companions, intercede before the Father for modern young people, that they may find the courage to believe and to live good and meaningful lives in Christ.