Monday, December 26, 2005

St. Stephen, the Martyr

Today is the Feast Day of St. Stephen, the Martyr. St. Stephen is the patron saint of St. Mark's ministry Newman Center at EKU.

Since I have been reflecting on each day's readings and saints, I have learned so much in the last week or so! For Christmas, Kathy got me (and her) two Scott Hahn books; The Lamb's Supper and First Comes Love. I am already 1/2 way through The Lamb's Supper - what an eye-opening and awe-inspiring book!

Today's readings surely have a significantly different tone than those of the past week. In the first reading, from Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, we read the story of St. Stephen, is courage, power and ultimate sacrifice.

The Responsorial Psalm reminds us of of the utter devotion we need to have in God and to be willing to pay the ulitmate price, as St. Stephen did!

In today's Gospel Jesus says to the disciples:

Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.

You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.

How wonderful it is that we are reminded - the day after we celebrate Jesus as a baby entering this world, and the day after we are focused on the faith and commitment of the Holy Family - that the Church lays out for us in Scripture today the difficult task we have ahead of us as Christians! And, no matter how difficult the task may be, no mater how ultimate the sacrifice is to pay, the Lord will never abandon us and will send the Spirit to speak through us!

Praise be to God! Have a great day!

No comments: