Sunday, December 25, 2011
FEAST OF ST STEPHEN, FIRST MARTYR
FEAST OF ST STEPHEN, FIRST MARTYR
MONDAY, OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS – YEAR I
Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59 / Ps 30 / Mt 10:17-22
ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous
signs among the people. Some persons then came forward, who belonged
to the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen from Cyrene, Alexandria,
Cilicia and Asia. They argued with Stephen but they could not match
the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. When they heard this
reproach, they were enraged and they gnashed their teeth against
Stephen. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on heaven and
saw the glory of God and Jesus at God's right hand, so he declared: "I
see the heavens open and the Son of Man at the right hand of God." But
they shouted and covered their ears with their hands and rushed
together upon him. They brought him out of the city and stoned him,
and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man
named Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed saying: "Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit."
Jesus said to his disciples, "Be on your guard with respect to people,
for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in
their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings
because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans. "But
when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say and how
you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are
to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of
your Father in you. "Brother will hand over brother to death, and a
father his child; children will turn against parents and have them put
to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands
firm to the end will be saved."
For many, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ brings great hope that
the world can indeed be a better place for mankind.
As today's readings show however, there are innumerable challenges
that Christians face in their aspirations to improve our collective
humanity. Even in an environment of healthier religious tolerance,
there are very real occasions, in a lot of places, where people suffer
the same fate as that of Stephen and the disciples in proclaiming and
standing by their personal beliefs.
Oftentimes too in daily life, when one acts in accord with Christian
values of truth, honesty, faith, fairness and compassion, ridicule,
scorn and persecution from the majority may not be far behind.
Let us therefore pray fervently that we always find reassurance,
strength and inspiration from Jesus so that we can remain steadfast
and uphold His Way as we search for meaning in our lives.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Cecilia Yu
- Racky Villa
- Chief Samrose Anyaugo
… for the personal intentions of
- Josheil Dapo
- Dr. Ugo Anyaugo, Mr. Ogechi Anyaugo, Barr Obinna Okoronkwo, Barr Mrs
Barbs Adaugo Okoronkwo, Mr .Ifeanyi Anyaugo, Mr Chuboy Anyaugo,
.. for the victims of the floods in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lim Stephanie
- Birthday: Dionisio R. Opelanio
- Birthday: Celso F. Bate
- Birthday: Lilia B. Yang
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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