Jesus called his 12 disciples together. He gave them the power to cast out demons and to heal the sick, and he told them to preach about the kingdom of God. The disciples obeyed Jesus, and everywhere they went they proclaimed the good news and healed sick people.
Herod began to hear rumors of mighty and miraculous deeds being performed in his country. Some people thought John the Baptist had come back from the grave, others thought Elijah or another ancient prophet was among the people.
When the disciples returned from their missionary travels, they found Jesus praying alone in a quiet place as he would often do during the day. Jesus knew that stories about him and the disciples were spreading through Jerusalem and the regions.
“Who do the crowds say that I am?” Jesus asked his friends. He heard the same names that Herod was hearing: Elijah, John the Baptist or one of the other prophets. Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”
Jesus warned his disciples not to repeat that news to anyone else. “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Jesus would say things that the disciples could not understand. They hoped he would explain what he was talking about. But Jesus only told them, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What was Jesus doing when the disciples found him?
2. Who did Peter say Jesus was?
The Holy Trinity can be difficult to understand. There is only one God, but he has shown himself to us as three persons.
God the Father has always existed and created the heavens and the Earth for us to live on. He loved us so much he sent his son to Earth to die for our sins.
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. When he was on Earth, he was human, but also divine. He told us the greatest commandment is for us to love each other, following the example of love he showed us. He died on the cross, rose from the grave and went to live with God in heaven. He promised to send the Holy Spirit, which would fill us with God’s power and love.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Spirit enables the church, and us as Christians, to proclaim Jesus’ message to the world.
In 1879, Catholic missionaries were sent to remote villages of Central Africa. Father Joseph Mkasa scolded a chief, Mwanga, for killing a missionary and the people who were with him. The chief then had Father Mkasa killed.
When Mwanga learned that some his servants were receiving religious instruction, he had all the young men appear before him. He ordered the Christians to step aside. Those who did so were killed.
We honor these brave men as Martyrs of Uganda on June 3.