Tuesday, May 6, 2014

April 6, 2014 Tuesday: 3rd Week of Easter

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.