Gospel Reflection Monday (26 December) – Octave of the Nativity of the Lord St Stephen
As we begin the weekdays of the Christmas season, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (10: 17-22) in which Jesus warns his disciples to beware of men ‘who will hand you over to the Sanhedrin and scourge you in their synagogues’. After reading the Gospel, Fr Paul will share a little about the life of St Stephen, whose memorial we celebrate today.
Fr Paul notes, Stephen is the first martyr. He was one of the deacons appointed by the Apostles to organize the distribution of food to the poor. He performed many miracles and confounded the Jews when disputes with them happened. As a result, they then fabricated false charges against him.
At his trial, Stephen preached the risen Christ to them, so they stoned him to death. He prayed for his persecutors as he was dying. One of them, Saul of Tarsus, who was looking after the cloaks of the stone-throwers, was later converted and became the great missionary, St Paul.
Today as we celebrate the life of St Stephen, Fr Paul invites us to pray, ‘St Stephen pray for us!’