St. Stephen Martyr

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD December 26, 2017 OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS SAINT STEPHEN, FIRST MARTYR WORD of the DAY  Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.  Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, …came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin.  But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together… As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”   Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.       (Acts 6: 8-10/ 7: 55-60) How shall I live...