Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON 26 December: The FEAST of ST STEPHEN
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
The gates of heaven opened for Stephen, the first of the martyrs;
in heaven, he wears the crown of victory. Entrance Antiphon
We remember the first martyr today to emphasize the invitation we have
as followers of Jesus to witness to his presence in our world, even when
it is unpopular, counter-cultural, or may even cost us our lives.
May we ask for the grace today to pray for our enemies and to
surrender even our lives in sharing this Good News with others.
God of all great love,
you know how full of courage Stephen was
and how full of fears I am.
Help me to have the strength to be a witness for my faith,
standing up for those who are weaker,
speaking out for what I believe
and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
Lord, give me a share in your compassion and understanding
that I might pray for those who oppose me,
those who ridicule me,
and those who dismiss me.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.