Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stephen's face appeared like an angel's: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, May 5th, 2014

            St. Stephen gives a powerful example of both trust in Jesus and love of his neighbor throughout his persecution: “The members of the Sanhedrin all looked intently as Stephen, and his face appeared to them as the face of an angel.”
            Think about the times you have been persecuted for your faith.  I know when someone has attacked my beloved Church, my face looks like anything but an angel’s!  Yet Stephen’s depth and intimacy with Christ flowed through his very facial expressions.
            This serenity came because Stephen understood the big picture.  He was madly in love with Jesus and knew that Jesus would always be there to protect him.  He fulfilled the passage in Psalm 119: “Though princes sit plotting against me, your servant keeps pondering your will.”  He also had a desire to share the love of Christ with others in order to bring many more souls to Christ.  Later in this passage Stephen prays for the very ones who stone him: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
            No matter what we face, our confidence in Christ and evangelistic spirit should make us look different.  Our peace, joy, forgiveness and hope can be a witness for others to receive these same gifts from Christ.

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