Octave of Christmas (26th December, 2018)
First Reading: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59 (Lord Jesus, receive my spirit)
Gospel: Mt 10:17-22 (Everyone will hate you because of me)
We celebrated Christmas yesterday by wishing one another, by going for the holy mass, by having different kinds of extra enjoyment in the form of food and other activities…. it’s nice. A question may arise here, did we recharge ourselves with the Holy Spirit more than anything?
In the first reading today, which is taken from the acts of the apostles, the discussion is about Saint Stephen who was the first martyr. Upon receiving the Holy Spirit, he had the wisdom to speak to the Scholars and win over them and let them know the truth. However, he became unacceptable to them. At the end Stephen declared that looking into heaven that he was able to see the son of man on the right-hand side of God. This truth was beyond their limits. People could not tolerate him; they stoned him to death.
In the Gospel too today, it is quite similar that Jesus speaks to his disciples. Jesus says that his disciples will have to go through hardships and great difficulties in their lives on account of Jesus’s name. But asked them to stick till the end so that they will be saved.
This is exactly what happened in the case of Saint Stephen.
All of us know the incident of sister Rani Maria. She did nothing wrong except that she helped to revive the poor and needy but she was pulled out of the bus while travelling and stabbed 52 times to death to death.
Later what happened was history. Samandar Singh, the person who stabbed sister was forgiven by the family of Sr. Rani Maria and was invited to their home. This changed the life of Samandar upside down. He confessed and came to know Christianity. He is now a believer.
We now know it for certain that both St. Stephen and Sr. Rani Maria are saved and with the Lord, so close to him.
Let’s also start the journey to follow the discipleship of Jesus expecting and accepting the difficulties with Grace. Amen.