But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say,
or how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father, speaking through you.
Brother will hand over his brother to death, and a father his child;
children will turn against their parents and have them put to death.
Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.
Immediately after the joyful white of Christmas the priest puts on the red of martyrs!
St. Stephen announces that this Jesus of Nazareth will be put to death but will rise on the third day.
He offers his life to witness to this truth. And he will pray the prayer of Jesus from the cross,
“Into your hands I commend my spirit.”
St. Stephen is the first martyr for Christ. He is the proto-martyr,
probably some 3 years after the death of Jesus (ca. 36 AD).
And he begins the long line of martyrs of the Church.
Matthew did write that the followers of Jesus will be victims in a world that refuses
to accept Jesus as Lord-Adonai! Matthew also tells us that Jesus assures his disciples will be given wisdom from above.
We pray for martyrs in our own time, a time of martyrdom,
as in the early days! There are many who hate those who follow Christ.
We must always respond to hatred with forgiveness and extend the hand of peace!
© Copyright Bible Diary 2020