On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Why are the readings on the first day after Christmas about St Stephen’s martyrdom? Perhaps it is a sobering message to stay awake after the joyous celebration of remembering that Christ was born for us to dispel all darkness by the light of His life, death and Resurrection!

That we who have encountered Christ would gladly lay down our lives for Him and brethren to rise again with and in Him. Many define self-control as the ability to say no to all the distractions that come our way in life. While this may be true to a certain extent, St Stephen shows us that this virtue is saying Yes to Christ so completely that we have nothing left to give in to distractions. Filled with the Holy Spirit we too shall see Heaven, and through His grace and power we shall begin to work miracles and great signs among the people. Amen

Saint Stephen pray for us…

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First reading

Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59 ·

The martyrdom of Stephen

Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people. But then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.

    But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

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Gospel

Matthew 10:17-22

The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.

    ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’

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