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December 26, 2018

St. Stephen, first martyr

ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

 

  

 

 

The seriousness of the Christian call

What a reminder, as we celebrate Christmas joy, of the seriousness of our call! As we clean up the last bits of wrapping paper and finish our leftover cookies, we celebrate the second day of Christmas with the feast of the first Christian martyr. St. Stephen reminds us that following Jesus isn’t all angels and nativity scenes, but sometimes involves difficulty, opposition, and risk.

So, what do we do when living our faith is a challenge? St. Stephen shows us this, too, as he keeps his eye on Jesus and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide us as we grow closer to Jesus in the Christmas season and all year long.

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

 

 

  

 

 

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful 
and kindle in them the fire of your love. 
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, 
and You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, 
did instruct the hearts of the faithful, 
grant that by the same Holy Spirit 
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, 
through Christ Our Lord. 
Amen.

—Traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit

 

 

 

  

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 26, 2018

St. Stephen, first martyr

ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

 

  

 

 

The seriousness of the Christian call

What a reminder, as we celebrate Christmas joy, of the seriousness of our call! As we clean up the last bits of wrapping paper and finish our leftover cookies, we celebrate the second day of Christmas with the feast of the first Christian martyr. St. Stephen reminds us that following Jesus isn’t all angels and nativity scenes, but sometimes involves difficulty, opposition, and risk.

So, what do we do when living our faith is a challenge? St. Stephen shows us this, too, as he keeps his eye on Jesus and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide us as we grow closer to Jesus in the Christmas season and all year long.

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

 

 

  

 

 

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful 
and kindle in them the fire of your love. 
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, 
and You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, 
did instruct the hearts of the faithful, 
grant that by the same Holy Spirit 
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, 
through Christ Our Lord. 
Amen.

—Traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit

 

 

 

  

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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