One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him anymore.
The Gospel of the Lord
The Mass intention for Patrick Marley RIP
Charles Lwanga served as a young male page in the court of a tribal lord Mwanga. Mwanga used to take advantage of his pages. However, his bad habit was foiled by the Christian virtue of these pages. Enraged, Mwanga ordered them to renounce their faith or be killed. Charles, his seventeen companions, along with some Anglican converts were burned to death. By 1890, there were some ten thousand Christian converts in Uganda.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus identified the first of all the commandments: “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” For St Charles and his fellow martyrs, this commandment was burning in their hearts so much so that they asserted their faith and shamed the perverse actions of their tribal lord. Inspired by their witnessing, may our lives too be a constant expression of love to God and neighbour.
- How do you express your love to God? To others?
- “A well which has many sources never runs dry. When we are gone, others will come after us.” (one of St Charles’ companion martyrs). What legacy would you like to leave to future Christians and why?
- How do I prevent myself from being far from God’s Kingdom?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of St Charles Lwanga and Companions, grant us a heart that will love You above all and love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Amen.