Feast of St. Stephen, First Martyr
December 26, 2018
68And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyre’nians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cili’cia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen. 10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 754Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him. 55But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” 57But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. 58Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
2Incline thy ear to me, rescue me speedily! Be thou a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! 3Yea, thou art my rock and my fortress; for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me, 5Into thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. 7I will rejoice and be glad for thy steadfast love, because thou hast seen my affliction, thou hast taken heed of my adversities, 16Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!
17Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Reflection for the day: “The choice of a state of life decides whether our conduct shall be good or bad.”-St. Gregory Nazianzus