EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
St. Augustine Zhao Rong (Feast Day July 9)
Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Over the centuries, Christianity in China was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly depending on China’s relations with the outside world.
Augustine Zhao Rong, is one of a group of 120 Catholics who were martyred between the years 1648 and 1930 in China. Zhao Rong was a bailiff of a county jail. During the persecution of 1772, he was moved by the words of Fr. Martinus Moye to his fellow Catholic prisoners, and, ultimately converted. He later became a priest, and when in 1815 another persecution broke out, he was arrested and tortured. Because of his age, he died of the ill treatment.
Of the 120 martyrs, eighty-seven were Chinese, ranging in age from nine to seventy-two, and four of them were priests. Thirty-three were foreign-born, mostly priests or women religious. Though the missionaries and religious tried to distance themselves from foreign policies, the Chinese government did not differentiate and saw them all as westerners.
The martyrdoms of China are very moving, each person having died heroically though many of them suffered torture and cruel deaths. Fr. Francis Li, grandson of a Chinese martyr, describes his grandfather going to his death joyfully saying to his brother and son, “Let’s go, we are going to heaven today!”
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· Why do you think the people in Jesus’ hometown rejected him? How did that make him feel?
· Share a time when you felt rejected. How did you work through it?
· Why do you think Jesus was unable to perform many mighty deeds when he was in his hometown?
· St. Augustine Zhao Rong was converted to Christianity through the moving words of a priest. What words would you use to share Jesus with someone?
Family Dance Party
Play some fun music and have a family dance party. Take turns picking songs to play. You can also take turns teaching each other dance moves. Try a line dance or choreograph your own sequence!
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Ramaki (Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon)
Inspired by St. Augustine Zhao Rong, enjoy this water chestnut recipe!
6-8 cans of whole water chestnuts
2 packages of center cut bacon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Marinate the water chestnuts in soy sauce, overnight if possible. Put brown sugar in a bowl and cut each bacon slice into 3 pieces. First roll the marinated water chestnuts into the brown sugar and set them in a baking dish until you are finished with all the water chestnuts. Once you have finished your first step then wrap each chestnut in bacon, secure with a toothpick and place it back in the same baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 1.5 hours turning once midway.
Canticle of Zechariah
The Canticle of Zechariah is prayed every morning in the Liturgy of Hours (a prayer of the Church that marks and sanctifies the hours of each day). The Canticle is Zechariah’s prophetic exhortation about the greatness of God in sending his son, John the Baptist, as the forerunner to announce the coming of Christ. There are many words and themes in this canticle prayer that can prepare our hearts and minds for the work of evangelization.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
and from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, child, shall be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Just like Jesus taught in the synagogue in today’s Gospel, the priest or deacon teaches us during the homily at Mass. Pay attention to the homily and share what you heard.
Sometimes we can be mean and critical of people in our household. Make a commitment to only say kind and encouraging things to your family members this week.
Christianity began with a small group of disciples that followed Jesus in his earthly life. Today, there are over 2.3 billion Christians in the world (about 1/3 of the world’s population). We still have a lot of work to do to proclaim the Gospel to every creature!