Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Today’s readings

Well, it doesn’t take long.  Just on Saturday at Mass, we heard about the selection of the first deacons of the Church, including Saint Stephen.  And now, today we hear of his persecution and impending death sentence.  The life of faith certainly has its ups and downs, doesn’t it?  I am sure we can all relate to that at some point or another in our lives.

So they drag Saint Stephen before the Sanhedrin, and make all sorts of false claims against him.  Actually, Stephen is in good company.  He is brought to the same place where his Lord Jesus, and later Peter and the apostles, have gone before him.  And just like all of them, even with all the lies and accusations flying around him, he is at peace.  The source of his peace, is of course, his Lord who has already traveled the Way of the Cross, that same Lord who now fills him, as the first line of the reading says, with “grace and power.”

We too, will be tested in this life because of our faith.  It can and will get us into trouble if we let it.  But we too can rely on that same grace and power if we unite ourselves to our Risen Lord.  As the Psalmist says today, “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord.”