December 26, 2017
St. Stephen
Serious Joy
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Acts 7:59
On the last day of our week in London, we rushed across Hyde Park. Our destination was a small rowhouse squeezed among others and just like them in all but one respect: the huge crucifix affixed to the exterior wall, hanging above the busy road. Inside, a sister took us down to the basement shrine. She told us the story of the Tyburn martyrs, men and women executed by the English government in the wake of the Reformation. This was the reason her convent stood in this place. It is odd, we might think, to celebrate the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, the day after Christmas. Doesn't the sad story break the mood? Not really, for we approach his story in the same spirit that sister did that afternoon--with, if you can imagine it, a serious kind of joy. Not because injustice or evil isn't real, but because he is, and he is Emmanuel.
Jesus, in joy, I embrace your way, from Bethlehem to Calvary.

- Amy Welborn

Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59|Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17|Matthew 10:17-22


December 26, 2017 at 11:42 AM

Amen. :)

December 26, 2017 at 09:03 AM

My thought exactly! Isn't this sad to read about Stephen's death the day after Christmas?

I agree with you, Amy, "Jesus, in joy, I embrace Your way, from Bethlehem to Calvary!" to Resurrection, to interceding for me at the right hand side of the Father, to coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead, to reign forever and ever :-) Amen!

As I read the readings this morning, it reminds me why Jesus came and was born as a baby.......He is here with me to point me to the cross.......His love for me, His ultimate plan in selfless sacrifice to save me from my sins and myself, and His long ago desire to bring me to Himself in restoring the relationship :-)

So am I ready for Easter? Why not start preparing now?

What do I expect between now and then? (Reading 1)
* they were infuriated
* they ground their teeth
* they cried out in a loud voice
* (they) covered their ears
* (they) rushed upon.....(you name it)
* they threw him (whosoever) out
* (they) began to stone (kill) him (whosoever)

What do I do in the mean time? (Reading 1)
* filled with grace and power
* filled with the Holy Spirit
* looked up intently to heaven
* saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God
* called out "Lord Jesus,"

What did Jesus tell me? (Gospel)
* Beware of men......
* do not worry.......
* You will be given at that moment.......
* For it will not be you.......
* but the Spirit of your Father.......
* whoever endures to the end.......
* will be saved.

Amen! Lord Jesus! 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. 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. Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. Let Your face shine upon Your servant; save me in Your kindness. Amen :-)

December 26, 2017 at 07:41 AM

Amen. Thank you Holy Fatther for this day and for today's Gospel. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father most of all for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ now and forever . Amen
Thank you Holy Father for the time spent with my family yesterday celebrating you. Amen

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