Monday, December 26, 2011

Boldly Proclaim

Into your hands I commend my spirit.  It is you who will redeem me, Lord.  As for me, I trust in the Lord: let me be glad and rejoice in your love.

Today is the Feast of Saint Stephen, the first martyr.  The first reading from Acts tells of how Stephen was betrayed and stoned to death.  In the Gospel Jesus warns His followers how they will be betrayed for His name, brother against brother, children against parents.  Boldly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus will create enemies, that is guaranteed.  But the other more powerful promise is that God will save us, even if we are killed.  "...but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved." Mt10:22.

The fear of upsetting people or making enemies by proclaiming Jesus can make me silent at times.  This happens when I focus too much on the here and now.  The eternal promises of God get obscured by the temporal.   Stephen proclaimed the Good News of Jesus right up to his death.  He could see the angels and Jesus waiting for him.  He had an eternal perspective that made his earthly suffering insignificant.  Today I pray for the boldness of Saint Stephen.

Lord Jesus, You promise to save me in Your love.  Fill me with Your Spirit that I may boldly proclaim You in the face of enemies.
Saint Stephen, please pray for me.

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