Friday, June 3, 2016


Ps 33 (32): 11, 19

The designs of his Heart are from age to age,
to rescue their souls from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.


Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son
and recall the wonders of his love for us,
may be made worthy to receive
an overflowing measure of grace
from that fount of heavenly gifts.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.


Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Reading 1
EZ 34:11-16

Thus says the Lord GOD:

I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
As a shepherd tends his flock
when he finds himself among his scattered sheep,
so will I tend my sheep.
I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
when it was cloudy and dark.
I will lead them out from among the peoples
and gather them from the foreign lands;
I will bring them back to their own country
and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel
in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places.
In good pastures will I pasture them,
and on the mountain heights of Israel
shall be their grazing ground.
There they shall lie down on good grazing ground,
and in rich pastures shall they be pastured
on the mountains of Israel.
I myself will pasture my sheep;
I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.
The lost I will seek out,
the strayed I will bring back,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy,
shepherding them rightly.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

R. The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R. The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

R. The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

Reading 2
ROM 5:5B-11

Brothers and sisters:

The love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

JN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I am the good shepherd, says the Lord,
I know my sheep, and mine know me.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

LK 15:3-7

Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes:

"What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance."

June 3

Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions

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.

The Society of Missionaries of Africa (known as the White Fathers) had only been in Uganda for 6 years and yet they had built up a community of converts whose faith would outshine their own. The earliest converts were soon instructing and leading new converts that the White Fathers couldn't reach. 
Many of these converts lived and taught at King Mwanga's court.

King Mwanga was a violent ruler and pedophile who forced himself on the young boys and men who served him as pages and attendants. The Christians at Mwanga's court who tried to protect the pages from King Mwanga.

The leader of the small community of 200 Christians, was the chief steward of Mwanga's court, 
a twenty-five-year-old Catholic named Joseph Mkasa (or Mukasa).

When Mwanga killed a Protestant missionary and his companions, Joseph Mkasa confronted Mwanga and condemned his action. Mwanga had always liked Joseph but when Joseph dared to demand that Mwanga change his lifestyle, Mwanga forgot their long friendship. After striking Joseph with a spear, Mwanga ordered him killed. When the executioners tried to tie Joseph's hands, he told them, "A Christian who gives his life for God is not afraid to die." He forgave Mwanga with all his heart but made one final plea for his repentance before he was beheaded and then burned on November 15, 1885.

Charles Lwanga took over the instruction and leadership of the Christian community at court -- and the charge of keeping the young boys and men out of Mwanga's hands. Perhaps Joseph's plea for repentance had had some affect on Mwanga because the persecution died down for six months.

Anger and suspicion must have been simmering in Mwanga, however. In May 1886 he called one of his pages named Mwafu and asked what the page had been doing that kept him away from Mwanga. When the page replied that he had been receiving religious instruction from Denis Sebuggwawo, 
Mwanga's temper boiled over. He had Denis brought to him and killed him himself by thrusting a spear through his throat.

He then ordered that the royal compound be sealed and guarded so that no one could escape and summoned the country's executioners. Knowing what was coming, Charles Lwanga baptized four catechumens that night, including a thirteen-year-old named Kizito. The next morning Mwanga brought his whole court before him and separated the Christians from the rest by saying, "Those who do not pray stand by me, those who do pray stand over there." He demanded of the fifteen boys and young men (all under 25) if they were Christians and intended to remain Christians. 
When they answered "Yes" with strength and courage Mwanga condemned them to death.

He commanded that the group be taken on a 37 mile trek to the place of execution at Namugongo. The chief executioner begged one of the boys, his own son, Mabaga, to escape and hide but Mbaga refused. The cruelly-bound prisoners passed the home of the White Fathers on their way to execution. Father Lourdel remembered thirteen-year-old Kizito laughing and chattering. Lourdel almost fainted at the courage and joy these condemned converts, his friends, showed on their way to martyrdom. 
Three of these faithful were killed on road.

A Christian soldier named James Buzabaliawo was brought before the king. When Mwanga ordered him to be killed with the rest, James said, "Goodbye, then. I am going to Heaven, and I will pray to God for you." When a griefstricken Father Lourdel raised his hand in absolution as James passed, James lifted his own tied hands and pointed up to show that he knew he was going to heaven and would meet Father Lourdel there. With a smile he said to Lourdel, "Why are you so sad? 
This nothing to the joys you have taught us to look forward to."

Also condemned were Andrew Kagwa, a Kigowa chief, who had converted his wife and several others, and Matthias Murumba (or Kalemba) an assistant judge. The chief counsellor was so furious with Andrew that he proclaimed he wouldn't eat until he knew Andrew was dead. When the executioners hesitated Andrew egged them on by saying, "Don't keep your counsellor hungry -- kill me." When the same counsellor described what he was going to do with Matthias, he added, "No doubt his god will rescue him." "Yes," Matthias replied, "God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body." Matthias was cut up on the road and left to die -- 
it took him at least three days.

The original caravan reached Namugongo and the survivors were kept imprisoned for seven days. On June 3, they were brought out, wrapped in reed mats, and placed on the pyre. Mbaga was killed first by order of his father, the chief executioner, who had tried one last time to change his son's mind. The rest were burned to death. 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 White Fathers 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. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them. 
The twenty-two Catholic martyrs of the Uganda persecution were canonized.

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

The heart of Jesus was wounded for love of us: 

come, let us adore him.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

The heart of Jesus was wounded for love of us: 

come, let us adore him.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

The heart of Jesus was wounded for love of us: 

come, let us adore him.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

The heart of Jesus was wounded for love of us: 

come, let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The heart of Jesus was wounded for love of us: 

come, let us adore him.


In ancient times God spoke to us
Through prophets, and in varied ways,
But now he speaks through Christ his Son,
His radiance through eternal days.
To God the Father of the world,
His Son through whom he made all things,
And Holy Spirit, bond of love,
All glad creation glory sings.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 35 (36)
The sinner's wickedness; God's goodness

In you is the source of life;
we drink from the stream of your goodness.

Evil whispers to the sinner in the depths of his heart:
the fear of God does not stand before his eyes.
Evil’s flattering light disguises his wickedness,
so that he does not hate it.
His words are false and deceitful,
he no longer considers how to do good.
Even when in bed he plots mischief;
he follows the wrong path; he does not hate malice.
Lord, your mercy fills the heavens,
your faithfulness rises to the sky.
Your justice is like the mountains of God,
your judgements are like the deeps of the sea.
Lord, you protect both men and beasts.
How precious is your kindness, O God!
The sons of men will take shelter under your wings;
they will eat their fill from the riches of your house,
drink all they want from the stream of your joy.
For with you is the spring of life-giving water.
In your light we shall see true light.
Hold out your mercy to those who know you,
offer your justice to the upright in heart.
Let me not be crushed under the heels of the proud,
nor dispossessed by the hands of sinners.
The doers of evil have fallen where they stood,
they are cast down and cannot rise.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

In you is the source of life;
we drink from the stream of your goodness.

Psalm 60 (61)
An exile's prayer

When my heart was faint,
you raised me up.

Listen, O God, to my appeal:
turn, and hear my prayer.
I call to you from the ends of the earth,
for my heart is troubled.
Lead me to the rock I cannot reach!
For you are my hope,
a strong tower in the face of my enemies.
I shall live in your tent forever,
I shall hide in the shelter of your wings:
for you, my God, have accepted my vows;
you have given me the inheritance of those who fear your name.
Add days to the life of the king:
add years, for age after age.
Let him sit always in the sight of God:
let kindness and faithfulness guard him.
This is the song I shall sing to your name,
forever and forever.
I shall repay my vows to you
day after day.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

When my heart was faint,
you raised me up.

Psalm 97 (98)
The Lord has brought salvation

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand, his holy arm,
have brought him victory.
The Lord has shown his saving power,
and before all nations he has shown his justice.
He has remembered to show his kindness
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel.
The farthest ends of the earth
have seen the saving power of our God.
Rejoice in God, all the earth.
Break forth in triumph and song!
Sing to the Lord on the lyre,
with the lyre and with music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn,
sound jubilation to the Lord, our king.
Let the sea resound in its fullness,
all the earth and all its inhabitants.
The rivers will clap their hands,
and the mountains will exult at the presence of the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge all the world in justice,
and the peoples with fairness.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

I will remember what the Lord has done.
– I will remember the wonders he has worked from the beginning.

First Reading
Romans 8:28-39

We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, 
and with those he justified he shared his glory.

After saying this, what can we add? With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, 
and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. As scripture promised: For your sake we are being massacred daily, and reckoned as sheep for the slaughter. 
These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, 
nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, 
can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.


℟. God brought us to life in Christ when we were dead through our sins,
* because he loved us with so great a love.

℣. This was to show for all ages to come how infinitely rich he is in grace,
* because he loved us with so great a love.

Second Reading
St Bonaventure
With you is the source of life

You who have been redeemed, consider who it is who hangs on the cross for you, whose death gives life to the dead, whose passing is mourned by heaven and earth, while even the hard stones are split. Consider how great he is; consider what he is.

In order that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept on the cross, in order that the word of scripture might be fulfilled – ‘They shall look on him whom they have pierced’ – God’s providence decreed that one of the soldiers should open his sacred side with a spear, so that blood with water might flow out to pay the price of our salvation. This blood, which flowed from its source in the secret recesses of his heart, gave the sacraments of the Church power to confer the life of grace, 
and for those who already live in Christ was a draught of living water welling up to eternal life.

Arise, then, bride of Christ, be like the dove that nests in the rock-face at the mouth of a cavern, and there, like a sparrow which finds its home, do not cease to keep vigil; there, like a turtle-dove, hide the fledglings of your chaste love; place your lips there to draw water from the wells of your Savior. For this is the spring flowing from the middle of paradise; it divides and becomes four rivers, 
then spreads through all devout hearts, and waters the whole world and makes it fruitful.

O soul devoted to God, whoever you may be, run to this source of life and light with eager longing. And with the power of your inmost heart cry out to him: ‘O indescribable beauty of God most high! O pure radiance of everlasting light! O life that gives life to all life! O light that illuminates every light, 
and preserves in its undying splendor the myriad flames that have shone before the throne of your godhead from the dawn of time!

‘O water eternal and inaccessible, clear and sweet, flowing from the spring that is hidden from the eyes of all mortal men; the spring whose depths cannot be plumbed, whose height cannot be measured, whose shores cannot be charted, whose purity cannot be muddied.’

From this source flows the river which makes glad the city of God, so that with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving we sing to you our hymns of praise, and by experience prove that with you is the fountain of life; and in your light we shall see light.


℟. Bless the Lord, my soul,
remembering all he has done for you;
* he rescues your life from deadly peril,
crowns you with the gifts of his kindness and compassion.

℣. O taste and see that the Lord is good:
* he rescues your life from deadly peril,
crowns you with the gifts of his kindness and compassion.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high forever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and forever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Almighty God and Father,
we glory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, your beloved Son,
as we call to mind the great things his love has done for us.
Fill us with the grace that flows in abundance
from the Heart of Jesus, the source of heaven’s gifts.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.