So let's talk about today's readings 12/26/09

December 26, 2009

Reading 1
Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Responsorial Psalm
31:3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16bc and 17

R. (6) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel
Mt 10:17-22 Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

“When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him.”
– Wonder what that looks like? Jesus often said when describing hell that there
would be “wailing and grinding of teeth”. Does anyone know how to grind their
teeth? When I push my teeth together hard and move them a little, it just
doesn’t seem very angry or ferocious, only silly.

“Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies”
– Such a sincere prayer from a faithful one. Yet Stephen wasn’t rescued, nor was
even Jesus. The Holy Innocents weren’t rescued. How is it that God would
not answer the plea of the faithful, even including His own Son? The way I see it,
the innocent have been sacrificed to save the guilty. And today, the innocent
continue to be sacrificed, in hopes of producing new love in the guilty. God will
decide when the full number possible to be saved have been saved. Until then,
we can count on God to save our souls from our enemies, but not our bodies.
If I had to choose, I would choose my soul. That is, I hope & pray that I would.

"but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
– whoever endures the loss of everything, with faith, will save their soul.

“For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”
– Has anyone experienced this?
Have you said something that you didn’t mean to say, but you believe it was
the Spirit of your Father speaking through you?

Today is the day of St. Stephen, “firstborn” of the martyrs. He chose to lay down his
life, like Jesus.

So what struck you about today’s readings? :bible1::twocents:

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