December 23, 2005 / Matthew 10: 17-22
- 17 At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues;
- 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.
- 19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time;
- 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
- 21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
- 22 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
A martyr is someone who loves God so much that he or she is willing to die rather than hurt him by denying that friendship. Today we’re celebrating the feast of St Stephen, who is the first Christian martyr; and this gospel is a reminder that Christ came to change the world, and that change often hurts. But He also came to give us the joy of knowing that we can suffer for the truth, and give up our lives for the truth. And even in the midst of great suffering, the joy of Christmas remains undimmed.
Prayer: Jesus, please give me the strength to always do what is right.
Challenge: Pray three Hail Mary’s for all those who are persecuted for their faith.