“For my sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the good news to them and to the Gentiles.” (Mt 10:18)
Today’s Passage: Mt 10:17-22
Meditation: On this fine morning, many are still in the Christmas celebration feel. It is good also! Many are still coming to visit the church and the crib. But today’s meditation verse creates a different tempo altogether. Holy mother church today celebrates the feast of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first martyr. He was one among the seven zealous deacons of the early church. The word of the Lord says, “The whole group was pleased with the apostles’ proposal, so they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 6:5)
Does it make any sense to celebrate this feast today just after Christmas. I do believe that it really makes sense. If we remember the messages of the advent or of the Christmas, we can understand that those who received the word of God were always happy to proclaim and give witness to it. For example, Mary mother of God, just after receiving the Word hurried off to Elizabeth to serve her; the Magi and the shepherds, all were on this way; and in Jesus’ public ministry also we find people receiving salvation or healing, following him or proclaiming him.
Therefore, this Christmas season is time for giving witness to Jesus. Witnessing is not only speaking something about Jesus but giving witness to him. It is really communicating the personal experience of Jesus. A Christian is not mere a tourist guide at the entrance of mega crib describing the story of Jesus to the visitors, but a sharing of Jesus’ experience to them from his own life. This will be proclamation indeed!
Sharing the personal experience of Jesus in front of a crib may be found safe and easy. Therefore, today the holy mother church exhorts us to even a greater and challenging atmosphere, “For my sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the good news to them and to the Gentiles.” (Mt 10:18) Exactly, this was where Stephen had to give witness to Jesus. After the celebration of Christmas, am I prepared to give witness to Jesus? Proclamation is effective only through our witnessing.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread and especially for this season of Christmas. This is an occasion for us to give witness to you before our brethren. In order that our celebration be a fruitful one, we have to be ready for giving witness to Jesus. Lord, give us Your Spirit and the courage to give witness in all circumstances after the model of St. Stephen. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Friday…