"This man never stops..." —Acts 6:13
St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr:
- was "a man filled with grace and power" (Acts 6:8),
- was full of the Holy Spirit and faith (Acts 6:5),
- was so full of wisdom that the international all-star team of debaters "proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke" (Acts 6:10),
- lived so full a life that, even though he was commissioned to handle the time-consuming job of distributing food, he still found plenty of time to witness about Jesus,
- "worked great wonders and signs among the people" (Acts 6:8),
- evangelized so powerfully that the Jews rated him as a greater enemy than the twelve apostles, choosing him as the first Christian to be killed, and
- focused so intently and lovingly on Jesus that even while hostile enemies sought his life, he radiated heavenly joy (Acts 6:15).
The false witnesses who testified against Stephen managed to say one true statement: "This man never stops" (Acts 6:13). Like Stephen, may we be so full of the Holy Spirit that we never stop serving, loving, praising, and sharing the risen Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may I imitate Jesus with the attentiveness, faith, and devotion of St. Stephen.
Promise: "You should not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal, food which the Son of Man will give you." —Jn 6:27
Praise: St. Stanislaus was a preacher, spiritual adviser, and reformer. He stood firm in his convictions of morality, confronted the king, and received for it the martyr's crown.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (This coming Pentecost, receive an unrationed gift of the Spirit. Order our leaflet on Praying For a New Pentecost or our audio tapes AV 92A-1, AV 92A-3, AV 92B-l or video V-92.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004
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