Monday, May 05, 2014
Tuesday Third Week of Easter
Tuesday Third Week of Easter
Acts 7:51 - 8:1a / Ps 31:3cd-4, 6 and 7b and 8a, 17 and 21ab / Jn 6: 30-35
Reading: Acts 7:51 - 8:1a
But you are a stubborn people, you hardened your hearts and closed your ears. You have always resisted the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did. Was there a prophet whom your ancestors did not persecute? They killed those who announced the coming of the Just One whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the Law through the angels but did not fulfill it." 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." Then he knelt down and said in a loud voice: "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he died. Saul was there, approving his murder.
Gospel: John 6: 30-35
They then said, "Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat." Jesus then said to them, "Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world." And they said to him, "Give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.
The first reading is about the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the early Church. Stephen boldly admonishes the Pharisees and then has a vision of God. The Pharisees are so angry that they stone him to death. What is remarkable in this reading is that Stephen forgives his killers and then "falls asleep." What a holy death! What courage, tenacity and such big-hearted compassion for one's enemies! This is Christian witnessing at its highest! Do you have the conviction, courage and love of St. Stephen? Even one percent of it should be enough for us. How much faith do we have in Jesus? Are we willing to suffer for him? Or even to die for him? By reading this passage of the New Testament, we should be moved to love Jesus a bit more, much more than usual. We should ask God for faith, the faith that can move mountains, and love for our enemies. These virtues we are called to possess if we want to be authentic Christians. If we pray hard enough for them, God might grant them to us.
We will need to eat the bread of life in the Eucharist to gain more spiritual strength to carry our daily crosses. We will need to read and to reflect on the Scriptures every day. We should exhaust all opportunities to do good to others, especially the poor and the needy. But without a deep and serious relationship with God and his Son Jesus, our faith will falter. Therefore, we must ask for the gift of prayer. Who says a Christian's life is easy? Obviously it is not, but it is surely worth living because it means that we are always in touch with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... 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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