It is 17th April 2018. The readings are from Acts 7:51-8:1; and the Gospel from John 6:30-35. Standing for truth is one thing and dying for the truth is another. We can all stand up for something when we emotionally moved but for giving up our lives for the principles we believe in would nearly impossible for many. Only a few like St. Stephen would be able to stand up for what they believed. St. Stephen got such a resilience from the Word of God. In the first reading, we reflect about the trial of St. Stephen which culminated in stoning him to death. He became the first martyr for Christ and leaving us with the model of forgiveness for those who persecuted him and killed him. When we become the witness for Christ, we are willing to forgive those who wish him death. The power to stand for Christ comes by consuming His Word and the Eucharist regularly. Let us not die and disappear just being a believer rather let us transcend ourselves to become the witnesses for the Lord. We admire and ruminate about the life of St. Stephen just because he just did not remain and be proud to be a believer rather He offered his very life and became witness for Christ Jesus. We become docile and open when we become the witness for Christ. It is not enough to be well-versed in the Bible but our lives must be aligned with the Word of God and resonate the love of Jesus. The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” (Ps.30:6). In the Gospel, Jesus assures us all that unless we consume the Bread of Life that is He himself, we have no life in us. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (Jn. 6:35). There are not many signs Jesus left with us that offers His abiding presence. The abiding, comforting and healing presence we have in the sign of Holy Eucharist. Jesus offers himself as the Bread of Life at the altar of God daily in our churches? How sincere and regular to receive the Holy Communion with purity in mind and heart? We reflect in the Catechism No. 1405 in the following manner: “There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth “in which righteousness dwells,” than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, “the work of our redemption is carried on” and we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ.” May we make a pledge to receive the Bread of Life from the altar of mercy and salvation. May the Lord bless you and fill you with His Spirit. Have a good day.

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