Saturday 03 JUNE

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Evangelium

Saints Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs

St Charles Lwanga and his companions became the first martyrs of black Africa under Ugandan king Mwanga. They were executed for being Christians, for rebuking the king for his debauchery and for murdering an Anglican missionary and for “praying from a book”. They died between 1885 and 1887.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Wis 3: 6-7, 9

As gold in the furnace, the Lord put his chosen to the test; as sacrificial offerings, he took them to himself; and in due time they will be honoured, and grace and peace will be with the elect of God.


O God, who have made the blood of Martyrs the seed of Christians, mercifully grant that the field which is your Church, watered by the blood shed by Saints Charles Lwanga and his companions, may be fertile and always yield you an abundant harvest. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First reading: Ecclesiasticus 51: 17-27

I will thank you and praise you, and bless the name of the Lord. When I was still a youth, before I went travelling, in my prayers I asked outright for wisdom. Outside the sanctuary I would pray for her, and to the last I will continue to seek her. From her blossoming to the ripening of her grape my heart has taken its delight in her. My foot has pursued a straight path, I have been following her steps ever since my youth. By bowing my ear a little I have received her, and have found much instruction. Thanks to her I have advanced; the glory be to him who has given me wisdom! For I am determined to put her into practice, I have earnestly pursued what is good, I will not be put to shame. My soul has fought to possess her, I have been scrupulous in keeping the Law; I have stretched out my hands to heaven and bewailed my ignorance of her; I have directed my soul towards her, and in purity have found her.

Psalm 18(19): 8-11

R/ The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.

The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted; it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding for ever. The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.

They are more to be desired than gold, than the purest of gold and sweeter are they than honey, than honey from the comb.

Gospel Acclamation: 1P 1: 25    

Alleluia, alleluia! The word of the Lord remains for ever: What is this word? It is the Good News that has been brought to you. Alleluia!

Gospel: Mark 11: 27-33     

Jesus and his disciples came to Jerusalem, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “What authority have you for acting like this? Or who gave you authority to do these things?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question, only one; answer me and I will tell you my authority for acting like this. John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man? Answer me that.” And they argued it out this way among themselves: “If we say from heaven, he will say, ‘Then why did you refuse to believe him?’ But dare we say from man? – they had the people to fear, for everyone held that John was a real prophet. So their reply to Jesus was, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.”

Prayer over the Offerings 

We offer you sacrifice, O Lord, humbly praying that, as you granted the blessed Martyrs grace to die rather than sin, so you may bring us to minister at your altar in dedication to you alone. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Ps 115: 15          

How precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones.

Prayer after Communion 

We have received this divine Sacrament, O Lord, as we celebrate the victory of your holy Martyrs; may what helped them to endure torment, we pray, make us, in the face of trials, steadfast in faith and in charity. Through Christ our Lord.


After the expulsion of the merchants from the Temple, the religious authorities who thought they had power over all the places of prayer felt hurt and upset. They ask Jesus, “By what authority are you doing this?” Let us remember that at that time no one other than the religious authorities could show any power over the running of the Temple. In fact, by driving the merchants out of the Temple, Jesus expresses his sovereignty over the house of God. Today, does Jesus have any authority over us, over our lives? By subtle appeals, he invites us to change something in our lives, to let ourselves be questioned by the remarks of someone close to us, an isolated questioning. “Doesn’t the Scripture say, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” (Mk 11:17). Is our heart today still the place of welcome for every person seeking God, reconciliation, or even a little discretion?