It is 26th December 2015. We celebrate the feast day of St. Stephen, the First Martyr. The readings are from Acts. 6:8-10; 7:54-59 and the Gospel from Mt.10:17-22. The first reading explains the growth of the church and the work of the deacons in the church and their contributions. The converts were growing rapidly in number. The Apostles felt the need of sharing and decentralising the works of the church such as preaching, baptising and distribution of alms to the poor, to the other members. So they ordained the seven Deacon or the servants of the Lord. One of them was Stephen. He was a fearless man, Spirit-filled person, well versed in Greek and good preacher. God did wonders through the works of Stephen. He was courageous to proclaim the truth about Jesus, the Messiah. When he was breathing his last, Stephen prayed for the forgiveness of his persecutors. Martyrdom is indeed the crucial explanation of our deep faith in our Saviour new born king. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” (Ps.31:6). The Gospel exhorts the followers that they must be prepared to be betrayed and handed over to the evil people for the sake the faith they hold in Jesus. Jesus encourages them not to worry and to be faithful to Him till the end. Jesus invites all of us to be a witness like Stephen and willing to be challenged by the others. Christian living is a journey of knowing Christ on a daily basis and to be the witness for Christ. Our witnessing does not end in the person of Jesus and is expanded to the rest of the humanity through our humble service. May Jesus bless you and have a good day.

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