Boldness and Courage

Readings for Tuesday April 28, 2009

First Reading:  Acts 7:51-8:1
Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 31 
Gospel:  John 6:30-35

They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.  The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep.
 (Acts 7:58-60)

In today's reading from the Book of Acts, we read about the first Christian Martyr, Stephen.  Upon being falsely judged and during his last few moments on earth while being stoned, Stephen does something so beautiful and so merciful, he asks God not to hold this sin against those who are stoning him.  This act of love should remind us of what our Lord did while on the cross, showing mercy towards His executioners.  In our world that is full of jealously, bitterness, and rivalry; where people are so much quicker to hold a grudge rather than forgive, we could certainly use more examples like Stephen in this world.  Stephen shows us what we should all be doing in this world, and that is modeling our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus showed compassion and forgiveness to those who did Him wrong, and that is what we are being called to do every day ... being bold and courageous.   

Brothers and sisters, we just went through the season of lent, a season that should lead us all to renewal and change.  We are now in the Easter season, the season where we should be going out in to the world triumphantly and boldly, filled with the Holy Spirit and giving all glory to God!  May God grant us the same boldness and courage that Stephen was against the world.  

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day.  Lord, we love you and thank you for all that you bless us with.  Help us to be courageous soldiers for you and your glory.  We ask this all through Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

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