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Saturday, December 26, 2020

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St. Stephen

Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17
Matthew 10:17-22

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“You will be hated by all on account of Me. But whoever holds out till the end will escape death.” —Matthew 10:22

On this second day of Christmas, the Church presents to us St. Stephen, the first martyr. The festive red color of Christmas is mixed with the blood-red of the martyr. The Church proclaims that Christmas is not just a custom, diversion, or triviality. Christmas is glorious — and serious. Christmas is the proclamation of Jesus’ lordship. It is the Word confronting the world (see Wis 18:15).

The Church’s Christmas characters are not Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty. Our Christmas saints are the fearless martyr Stephen, the massacred babies of Bethlehem (Mt 2:16), the bloodied Thomas Becket, joyful and sorrowful mother Mary, and Joseph the impoverished refugee (see Lk 2:7; Mt 2:13). The Church proclaims that Christmas is not primarily for the consumers and shoppers but for the witnesses, the persecuted, and the poor.

You may have had the world’s Christmas for years. Why don’t you try something different and celebrate the Word’s Christmas? Repent, obey, witness, and begin Christ’s Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, give me a good, old-fashioned, Bethlehem-Calvary Christmas.

Promise:  “As Stephen was being stoned he could be heard praying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ ” —Acts 7:59

Praise:  “As Stephen was being stoned he could be heard praying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ ” —Acts 7:59

Reference:  (Grow in Christ’s Christmas by reading the Bible every day. We have several series to help you. Overview of the Bible is six CDs starting with CD 10A-1 or three DVDs starting with DVD 10A. 15 Minute Bible Teaching - New Testament is forty CDs starting with CD 700. An Introduction to Each Book of the Bible is thirty-two CDs starting with CD 21-1 or seventeen DVDs starting with DVD 21.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 14, 2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.