Tuesday 4 November 2014

Dec 26 - Saint Stephen, the first Martyr - Feast

Is there anyone here on earth we can trust? Some of us may say that we can trust our parents. Some say that we can trust our siblings. Others say that we can trust a spouse or a close friend. But the question is: how much can we trust these people? 100%? Most of the time? Or do some of us have a tinge of doubt about these people, even if it is a very tiny tinge?

In today's Gospel, we are told that there is a possibility that "brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved." This could happen when it comes to faith and members of the family are of different faith. It could even happen though members of the family are Christians. Why so? Because people could be coerced or bribed with money, power, position, fame and authority, or some other form of enticement, to commit such a despicable deed.

But all is not lost. Jesus reassures us in the Gospel: "But when they hand you 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." When we trust in God and offer our lives completely to Him, we are under His care and protection. There is no need to worry, or fear, or fret. God will be our guide. St. Stephen, whose feast we celebrate today, trusted in God and let God take control. Certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, but he was confident in God's help and as a result: "They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him."

Ultimately, our trust is in the Lord. He is faithful to us even though we may be unfaithful to Him at times. Let us make every effort to grow closer to Him, and place our confidence in Him, knowing that He will not fail us.

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