St Stephen, Protomartyr : Saturday 26th December 2020

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Lord, help me live my life as a living witness to your Word

St Stephen, Protomartyr : Saturday 26th December 2020

Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59; Ps. 30:3-4,6,8,16,17;
Mt. 10:17-22 (Ps Wk IV)

On December 25, we celebrate Jesus, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. On December 26, we commemorate the first martyr, Stephen, whose blood was shed for witnessing to the Word — Jesus the Christ.

Stephen belongs to a Jewish group known as Hellenists. He is one of the seven elected deacons of this faith community. The Hellenists had lived abroad and spoke Greek.

They understood that they must break free from the Jewish pattern of Temple rituals and community life in order to proclaim Jesus Christ and do their apostolic work.

Their opponents were the Hebrews, who spoke Aramaic and had never left their homeland and the crux of their faith was the Temple and the Law.

When Stephen was arrested and brought to the Great Council, he did not defend himself against the false accusations but gave an account of God’s power and untiring love for rebellious Israel, who had been rejecting and killing God’s messengers since the time of Moses.

Stephen was killed because he proclaimed that Jesus as the Just One who had come to perfect the Law but the Jews didn’t want to hear it and so they had him killed.

Lord, may we, the Church, empowered with faith and courage of the martyrs continue to bear witness to the Word of God. Amen.

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