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Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr

Luke 2:28-32: Simeon took him [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
Prayer ...
Heavenly Father, not only do we pray for peace on our earth, but we pray that the understanding of Jesus may be spread to every country this coming year. Please make us sensitive to those who are around us who need your grace and give us courage and the right words to say. Please blend us to be generous with those who are spreading your Gospel throughout the world. Please bind the work of Satan to keep countries in darkness and away from grace. Make your Kingdom triumph through the expansion of your word throughout the world. In Infant Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Today's Readings ... (December 26, 2012)
Day: Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr
First Reading: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31:3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16bc and 17
Second Reading: Nil
Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22
Lectionary: 696
Colour: Red
Listen to Reading:
Scripture: Matthew 10:17-22
17Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Meditation on Today's Scripture:
The way to glory in the kingdom-of-God is throuugh the cross. If we want to share in Jesus' glory, then we, too, must take up our cross every day and follow in his footsteps. Jesus never hesitated to tell his disciples what they could expect if they followed him. Here Jesus says to his follower: This is my task for you at its grimmest and bad; do you accept it? This is not the world's way of gifting a job. This is not the message we choose to hear when the Lord commissions us in his service. However, our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of the Master who laid-down his life for us. The Lord gives us enough grace to follow him and to bear our cross with courage and hope. Do we know the joy and triumph of the cross of Jesus Christ? Loving Infant Jesus, your coming in the flesh to ransom us from slavery to sin gives us cause for great rejoicing even in the midst of trials, difficulty and pain. Help us to patiently and joyfully accept the hardships, difficulties and persecution which come our way in serving you. Strengthen us faith and give us courage that we may not shrink back from doing your will.


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