get your re-act together
"Stephen, meanwhile, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked to the sky above and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. 'Look!' he exclaimed, 'I see an opening in the sky.' " —Acts 7:55
If a mob of people "ground their teeth in anger" against you, if they rushed at you while "shouting aloud, holding their hands over their ears as they did so" (Acts 7:54, 57), if they dragged you out of the city and began to stone you, what would your reaction be? Fear? Anger? Hatred? Resentment? Confusion?
Stephen's reaction was altogether different. His "face seemed like that of an angel" (Acts 6:15). "As Stephen was being stoned he could be heard praying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' He fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them' " (Acts 7:59-60). His prayer of faith and forgiveness helped bring about Saul's conversion, one of the greatest conversions of all time.
How could Stephen react as he did? Our reactions derive from someone else's actions. Stephen chose to react to the act of Jesus "standing at God's right hand" (Acts 7:56) instead of reacting to the demon-driven mob. We can always choose to react to Jesus, for He overshadows all reality. Conversely, we can choose to bury our heads in the sands of worldly activities and ignore Jesus. Whose act will you react to?
Prayer: Jesus, risen and glorified, may I fix my eyes on You and have peace in the eye of the hurricane.
Promise: "Jesus explained to them: 'I Myself am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to Me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in Me shall ever thirst." —Jn 6:35
Praise: St. Athanasius fought against the denial of Jesus' divinity most of his seventy-seven years.
Reference: (This coming Pentecost, react to Jesus by being filled with the Spirit. Order our leaflet on Praying For a New Pentecost or our audio tapes AV 92A-1, AV 92A-3, AV 92B-1 or video V-92A, V-92B.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005
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