Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. - Mother Teresa
(Scripture text: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59)
Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.
When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
"Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God."
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
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."
Strength is something that Stephen showed in a very difficult time. A challenge of great magnitude, standing true to what he believes.
God gives us a choice as to what we do in our daily lives.
It is up to us to display strength as Stephen did, standing up for what we believe in. In the reading there is an overwhelming amount of people upset at the faith Stephen is preaching and showing. One voice can make a difference, and one voice can start a movement. Stephen is not moved at the doubt in the crowd. He looks up and God is with him.
Where does courage come from?
Saint Stephen teaches us the answer. He gazed upon Christ seated at the right hand of the Father. Prayer - we need to find strength from the experience of being loved that can only come from frequent, intense, and profound contact with God through prayer, especially the source, summit, and center of Christian prayer, the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Many times in our lives we are afraid to speak up because we feel as though our voice will not be heard. Stay true to who you really are and shine. Don’t let life get you down. Allow the love of God found through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church change a negative view into a positive one and keep faith an integral part of your daily life.
We all have a voice – as well as a choice.