The Second Day in the Octave of the Nativity
Reading: Acts 6: 8-10; 7: 54-59
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31: 3-4; 6; 8; 16-17
“Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit”
Gospel: Matthew 10: 17-22
Acts: 7:56 “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God”
One of the reasons the Church has been able to withstand two thousand years of changing political and ethical influence comes down to the compelling eye-witness accounts of people like Saint Paul and Saint Stephen. Why would it be that these people would be willing to die, and indeed willingly went to their deaths because of their outspoken beliefs in Jesus Christ.
These people had witnessed God’s works and the grace of God happening before them. Their belief was simply the reality of their lives. They knew the truth that their lives were insignificant in comparison to the reality of God’s intentions.
No-one would willingly make it easy for people to kill them for their beliefs if they didn’t fully understand that even their death was insignificant in the broader scheme of things.
And so it was with Saint Stephen, whom as the stones began to rain in on him, saw the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.
We honour him today for his faith and unselfish support for the Church.
Saint Stephen is known as the first Christian martyr, dying for his faith just about a year after Christ. Let’s remember Saint Stephen for this unfailing faith – a beautiful example to all of us.
Pray for Catholics to return to Church today.
With thanks to Holy Name of Mary Parish, Hunters Hill, who have supplied these daily Advent and Christmas 2019 reflections from their publication Daily Inspirations of Faith: A Season of Prayer – Advent to Epiphany 2019-20.