May 2, 2017 – TUESDAY, 3RD Week of Easter
St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Acts 7:51 - 8:1a / Jn 6: 30- 35
St. Athanasius (297 - 373), Bishop of Alexandria for 45 years, was a great champion against the Arian heresy at the First General Council at Nicaea (325).
FROM THE 1ST READING: Acts 7: 51, 54- 56, 59- 60; 8:1a
Stephen said, "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." ...
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." ...
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 READING: Jn 6:30- 35
The Jews 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, "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."
In the first reading St. Stephen defends himself against the charges of the false witnesses. Enraged, the Jews stoned him to death. Like the Lord Jesus, Stephen commended his spirit to God and forgave his murderers. Saul, the future Paul the Apostle, was a witness at Stephen's martyrdom.
Even to his death by stoning, the punishment for blasphemy, Stephen witnessed to his belief in Jesus and the Good News. Stephen was the first of innumerable Christian martyrs who gave their lives for love of Jesus.
As Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, "Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God. This is how this people persecuted the prophets who lived before you." (Mt 5: 10- 12)
Like St. Stephen, may God give us the wisdom and courage to stand in defense of our faith and love of Jesus.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
DR. ROLANDO HORTALEZA
MARWIN JAY D. TALLEDO
ADELINE S. LIM
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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