Jesus said to his disciples, «Be on your guard with respect to people, for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans. But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say and how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of your Father in you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved».
Immediately after celebrating the nativity of Jesus, we are called to meditate the joy of Stephan who gave his life joyfully, as his own master, who gave His life, for the salvation of the world. His death, will give an opportunity for Saul, who has become Paul, to taste the divine mercy, through the forgiveness, happily accorded by the believing community.
There is a joy to give ourselves to God, particularly our own being, including our life. What a pleasure to participate in the Baptism of the Lord, in blood and in truth. Stephan in his humanity proved to the pagan world, there is something special in him, a divine Sprit, which made him to forgive others generously, even when he was undergoing a painful moment of life.
God wishes that we too experience this divine grace given to the people generously, particularly when we undergo a painful moment. Many at times, we lose our contact with the divine presence, by concentrating much of our energy in our personal pains and failures, thus ignoring the marvellous transformation of our very being, as a gift that God gives us. May this Incarnated Son of God, helps us to understand the truth of divine intervention, for our own joy and salvation that God undertakes daily with us in joy.
Action of the day: Give thanks to God in every moment of life.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Your Father speaks through you in every age,
by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"To be sure, we heard in that reading, 'But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious how or what you are to speak... for it is not you who are speaking but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you.' And he says in another place: 'Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the world' (Matthew 28:20). Does this mean that the people who heard those words of the Lord would be here until the end of the world? The Lord was referring, rather, not only to those about to depart from this life but also to the others, including us and those who would come after us in this life. He saw everyone in his single body, and the words he spoke, 'I am with you even to the end of the world,' were heard by them and by us too. And if we did not hear them then in our knowledge, we heard them in his foreknowledge. Therefore, safe as sheep among the wolves, let us keep the commandments of him who directs us. And let us be 'innocent as doves but cautious as snakes' (Matthew 10:16). Innocent as doves that we may not harm anyone; cautious as snakes that we may be careful of letting anyone harm us." (excerpt from SERMON 64A.2)