Daily Reflection – Dec 26, 2015
Saturday 26 December 2015
First Reading: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Into your hands, O Lord, I entrust my spirit
Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:17-22
Today’s Saint: St Stephen, First Martyr
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
The gospel is taken from Jesus’ missionary sermon, fitting for the One whom God sent into the world with a mission of mercy. Stephen never was a missionary, but his death sparked the first missionary movement. Christians, except the apostles, fled in various directions, bringing the good news with them. Why Stephen so enraged the Sanhedrin is that missing piece between our two selections for today. Stephen speaks against the Temple, arguing that we have a tenting God, not one whom we can capture in a building. This is the original language of John’s prologue: “The word became flesh and pitched his tent among us.”
How have you at times tried to capture God, confine God, define God (for to define is to set limits)? What did you learn from those experiences (discipulus/a is a learner in John’s theology)? Before we are sent, we learn. Jesus learned from the depths of God and then was sent to make God known (Jn 1:18). When have you known God/Jesus/Spirit as a tenting God? What implications does that have for your life?
Thank you, God, for calling us, teaching us, consecrating us in truth and sending us to proclaim your new kin-dom of love and peace, justice and unity. Give us courage.