“……do not worry about how to speak or what to say…”
Today the church celebrates the feast of St. Stephen. Stephen, the first martyr and patron saint of bishops, was filled with grace and performed great signs and wonders as we read in Acts.
The original translation of the word martyr means witness; to be a witness to the faith. In today’s Gospel passage we read of God’s assurance when we are witnesses to the faith and men persecute us. As children of God we are all called to be witnesses of our faith. This call is often a difficult one as we live in times where sometimes our faith is seen as unsophisticated, unscientific and unpopular, where ethical secularism attempts to threaten a simple, faith filled way of life.
God’s assurance in the gospel reading is comforting. Despite persecution and opposition His grace and Holy Spirit will be with us.
Lord, help us to be like Stephen, staying close to you and keeping our eyes on you amidst our trials in life. Amen.