Monday, December 26, 2011
St. Stephen the Martyr: A Reminder that it's not all About the Feast
So even as Stephen suffered a painful death by stoning, he was on the threshhold of the greatest party mankind will ever experience, the banquet of the Lamb. And it may very well have been Stephen's prayers and sacrifice that led to the conversion of St. Paul who "was consenting to his death." (Acts 7:59)
While we enjoy all the delights of the twelve days of Christmas, visiting with family and friends, reminiscing about Christmases past and looking forward to a new year with hope, let's remember the thorn upon the rose. This life will never be without suffering even in the midst of celebration. What a blessing if we all accept that suffering as Stephen did, particularly when it involves persecution, and call on Jesus saying, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."