Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily Feast of St. Stephen, First Martyr, December 26, 2022
Matthew 10: 17-22 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/122622.cfm
St. Stephen First Martyr
With each choice, the Word of God becomes more and more flesh in our words, our look, our touch, and the way we listen to people. We might wonder at first why Stephen infuriated the crowd so much. Was it because he won the debate? St. Luke tells us that it was the wisdom and spirit in which he spoke. That means it wasn’t Stephen. It was Jesus speaking in him through the Holy Spirit.
Remember how the Spirit descended upon Mary, overshadowed Mary, and conceived the Word in her womb? Before the debate, Jesus was born the same way in Stephen’s heart. And it happened because as Stephen lived his life, day in and day out, he made little choices for Jesus, just like we do.
Well, over time, the Word of God was made flesh in those little choices in him. The words he formed in his mouth were no longer human. They were the Word of God. The human life Stephen gave up when his enemies stoned him was a life he had given up long before this debate. For Stephen, it was a life he gave up each day. His death for Jesus was a gain.
What was true for Stephen is true for us. With each choice, the Word of God becomes more and more flesh in our words, our look, our touch, and the way we listen to people.
As we know, some people will accept his presence through our speech and what we say and do. Others won’t be ready. That’s ok.
Like St. Paul, who was Saul before his conversion, some will come to the Way of Jesus; it may take time, but they’ll come. So, die well this day, and you will witness well to Jesus.
Ignite the Fire
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC