YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN
HOMILY THEME: UNFORTUNATE TO BE GOOD
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59, PSALM 31, MATTHEW 10:17-22
Beloved friends, ours is a world where those who lead evil lives suffer. Did Christ ever promise us a rosy Christianity? He told us: if anyone wants to be his follower, he should renounce himself, take up his cross and follow him (Matt. 16:24ff).
Stephen was an ‘unfortunate good’ man who suffered martyrdom for preaching Christ boldly. He had the honour of being the first to sacrifice his life for Christ; he accepted it gladly and even blessed his adversaries. He was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death (Acts 7:59). Christ had already warned in Matthew 10:17; “Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in the Synagogue…” Stephen was the first victim and his attitude enthralls me. He first prayed for the forgiveness of his killers and gently commended his spirit to his creator.
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We live in a world where persecution and trials abound; many a times we are subjected to violence and marginalization for the sake of Christ. While some fall by the way, others endure for a while but sway still. Stephen endured to the end and it paid, his endurance gained him salvation (Matt. 10:22). We are called to be like Stephen and hang on even when the going seems tough and unfavourable, then, our salvation will surely be guaranteed. May we learn to forgive those who hurt us, those who make us feel less than the human beings we actually are; and in doing that, we’d be winning for ourselves the pardon of God.
May we embrace fearless evangelism; standing for Christ even when death threatens. May we never be afraid to proclaim him in truth, WHEREVER we find ourselves, before WHOMEVER we are supposed to and in WHATEVER season we are called to do it. As we do this, may God’s salvation which the birth of Christ brought, be ours through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Have you shown the new born Christ to your neighbour???
It’s never too late to FEED AND EDUCATE ONE POOR FOLK NEAR YOU.
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