Sunday, December 25, 2016
St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr
26 December 2016
St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr
Acts 6: 8 - 10; 7: 54 – 59 / Mt 10: 17 – 22
St. Stephen (d. 34), one of the first seven deacons appointed by the Apostles, was the first Christian to be martyred. St. Paul, then a zealous Jew, witnessed the martyrdom of St. Stephen.
From the 1st Reading: Acts 7: 55 – 60
But Stephen, 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.
Gospel Reading: Mt 10: 17 - 22
Jesus said, "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."
It is hard to be good, to do what God wants us to do at all times because many of our family members and friends have different priorities and different values. They sometimes find it difficult to understand why we devote much time in prayer, attend prayer meetings when we can relax and enjoy time with them instead. Sometimes also, we are insecure or afraid to take on new service because we think we don't have the skills to accomplish the task. If we call on God's grace through the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible. If it is God's will that we speak in front of a big group to be a witness of His love and mercy, He will put the right words into our mouth so that we can effectively proclaim His goodness and relay His message to the audience. Our love for God and our passion for following Him as true disciples will surely touch the hearts of the audience. We need to call on the power of the Holy Spirit in preparing for our talk or any service that we embark on to ensure its success. Then let God do the rest.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Crystal I. Prado
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Lilia B. Yang
For the intentions of Antonio Tan.
For the healing and recovery of Loreta de Leon.
Have a good day!
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