EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
St. Charles Lwanga and Companions (Feast Day June 3)
d. between November 15, 1885 – January 27, 1887
By 1879 the first Catholic missions were started in Uganda and other parts of Central Africa. Under King Mutesa, missionaries preached, people studied the faith, and many believed in Jesus. Unfortunately, King Mutesa was succeeded by King Mwanga, who began persecuting the Christians in Uganda. Mwanga was a corrupt man who abused his young pages (male servants).
Charles Lwanga was in his late teens when he served as a page in the court of King Mwanga. He served under the chief page, Joseph Mukasa, who was a Catholic and went to great lengths to protect the younger boys from the king. Mukasa denounced the king’s actions and the king subsequently had Mukasa beheaded. That night, realizing that their lives may be in danger, Charles and 100 other catechumens were baptized. At 25 years old, Charles replaced Mukasa as chief page. Charles catechized the young men, encouraged them to refuse to take part the pagan customs of the country, and protected them from the king’s advances.
The following May, King Mwanga learned that some of the pages were being instructed in the faith. He was furious and ordered all the pages to be questioned to separate the Christians from the others. Mwanga commanded his soldiers to kill Charles Lwanga and his friends. Most of the pages were under the age of twenty-five. The youngest was thirteen years old. After their deaths, many other Christians were persecuted and killed. The example of these teenagers and men inspired other people, which caused the faith to grow and spread in Africa. Twenty-two Ugandan martyrs, including Charles and the pages, were canonized in 1964.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· In what way does today’s Gospel reading explain our belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?
· Why is receiving the Eucharist special to you? Share a time when you felt Jesus powerfully present after receiving the Eucharist.
· Discuss the way in which the Eucharist fulfills the Passover celebration. (Hint: see the Fun Fact from January 14th.)
· St. Charles Lwanga went to great lengths to protect younger boys from danger. Share a time when you protected someone from getting hurt or getting into trouble.
In today’s Gospel, the apostles prepared a special meal: the Passover. Today, invite your family to prepare a special meal together. Choose a recipe that is a family favorite or one that is new to everyone. Choose one special recipe or make several recipes that can be enjoyed together as a whole meal. Consider using the Recipe of the Week as your appetizer. Assign tasks to each family member. Use your best dishes and linens. Light candles to create a festive atmosphere.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Chopped Corned Beef
Today, we celebrate the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. The wine in this recipe transforms the ingredients into an easy and delicious appetizer.
1 tsp. minced dry onions
1 tsp. sherry or cooking wine
8 oz pkg. cream cheese
2 tsp. mayonnaise
¼ lb. corned beef, finely chopped
¼ cup stuffed olives, finely chopped
Soften onions in sherry/wine for about 5 minutes. Blend with cream cheese & mayonnaise. Add onions, corned beef & olives. Roll into ball and chill for 3-4 hours. Serve with crackers or pretzels.
Praying with Music
As a family, listen to the song I Am Yours—Consume Me Completely. You should be able to find the song on YouTube or wherever you stream music. Reflect on what these lyrics say about the Eucharist.
At every Mass, the priest uses the exact words that Jesus said at the Last Supper to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. These are called the Words of Institution:
Take this, all of you, and eat of it:
for this is my body which will be given up for you.
Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
for this is the chalice of my blood,
the blood of the new and eternal covenant.
which will be poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in memory of me.
Listen for those words today.
Find a time to go to Eucharistic Adoration as a family this week. Prepare children ahead of time by explaining what Eucharistic Adoration is and what to do when you get there.
There are almost 200 different types of bread. Some of the most popular types of bread in the United States are Texas Toast, banana bread, sourdough, bagels, and cornbread.