Sunday, June 02, 2013

He Had One Other to Send

He Had One Other to Send

June 3, 2013
Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
I was reminded of the oracle pronounced by the prophet Amos against Bethel: “All your festivals shall be turned into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.”  And I wept.  Then at sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.  The neighbors mocked me, saying to one another: “He is still not afraid!  Tobit 2:6-8
He had one other to send, a beloved son.  He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’  But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir.  Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’  So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.  What then will the owner of the vineyard do?  Mark 12:6-9a


Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is 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


God keeps trying to save us and give us everything that is good.   Despite all the Lord’s efforts, we continue to reject Him.
Ever witness a child and a parent in the check-out line at a grocery store – the line with all the candy.  The child wants candy and will not take no for an answer.  The parent does not want to relent.  God is the child.  Persistent.  Trying everything.  If one option does not work, he tries something else.  We are the parent – rejecting all the attempts to win over our mind to the case. 
However, sometimes the humanity does turn the tables and reflects the persistence of the Lord.  The story of today’s patron saint Charles Lwanga and his murdered brothers is evidence that this level of persistence still exists in the church.  According to Catholic Online, For those of us who think that the faith and zeal of the early Christians died out as the Church grew more safe and powerful through the centuries, the martyrs of Uganda are a reminder that persecution of Christians continues in modern times, even to the present day.
A group of Christians were condemned for their faith by the king of Uganda.  They had to march 37 miles to the place where they would be executed.  When they reached the location, the condemned men (all under 25) were kept imprisoned for seven days. On June 3, they were brought out, wrapped in reed mats, and placed on the pyre refusing one last chance to turn their back on the Lord.  Thirteen Catholics and eleven Protestants died. They died calling on the name of Jesus and proclaiming, "You can burn our bodies, but you cannot harm our souls."
When the Catholic community leaders were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their natively language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda.


Imagine turning the table and we becoming the persistent one – saying yes over and over to the mission the Lord has for us.  After all, the Lord has one other to send after His son is killed.  He sends us.  What can you do today to show your persistence in faith, hope and love?

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