St. Stephen gave up his life to share the Good News...
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Stephen (December 26, 2019): ACTS 6:8-10;7:54-59; PS 31:3-4,6,8,16,17; MT 10:17-22
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
St. Stephen is renowned as the Church’s first martyr. Like Jesus Himself, Stephen was falsely accused of blasphemy, but willingly died in service to Almighty God.
Christ was crucified to save all people from sin and death. Stephen was stoned to stay true to our Lord. He also became an example and witness for other Christians – those in his own age and throughout the centuries. “They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witness laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’” (Acts 7:58-59).
Stephen also imitated Christ in forgiving those who murdered him. Among those gathered there that day when Stephen was brutally killed was Saul, later known as Paul. In time, he, too, would faithfully follow our Savior and St. Stephen in living only to obey the will of our loving God – even to death. Today, let us ask the patron of deacons to protect all members of the Church and help us to do and be all God wants of us.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us in all we do and say as He did St. Stephen. Then we may share our faith, hope and love with all we meet and offer them our own example.