Reading for 26th December, Feast of St. Stephen, Year A

?First Reading: (Acts 6:8-10, 7:54-59)

? Responsorial Psalm: (Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21)

?Gospel:(Matthew 10:17-22)

 

First Reading: (Acts 6:8-10, 7:54-59)

Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people.

Then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not stand up against him because of his wisdom, and the Spirit that prompted what he said.

They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’

All the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they made a concerted rush at him, thrust him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul.

As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

Responsorial Psalm: (Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21)

You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, lead me and guide me!

Draw me out of the net they have spread for me, for you are my refuge; you hate those who serve useless idols; but my trust is in Yahweh: I will delight and rejoice in your faithful love!

You, who have seen my misery, and witnessed the miseries of my soul, have not handed me over to the enemy, but have given me freedom to roam at large.

I call on you, Yahweh, so let disgrace fall not on me, but on the wicked. Let them go down to Sheol in silence, Blessed be Yahweh who works for me miracles of his faithful love (in a fortified city)!

 

Gospel, Matthew 10:17-22

And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those suffering from virulent skin-diseases, drive out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.

Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the labourer deserves his keep. ‘Whatever town or village you go into, seek out someone worthy and stay with him until you leave.

As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, may your peace come upon it; if it does not, may your peace come back to you.

And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. In truth I tell you, on the Day of Judgement it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as snakes and yet innocent as doves.

‘Be prepared for people to hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as evidence to them and to the gentiles. But when you are handed over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes, because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.

‘Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will come forward against their parents and have them put to death. You will be universally hated on account of my name; but anyone who stands firm to the end will be saved.

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