Each day during the Easter season there will be a reading from that day’s Mass posted, chosen by a parishioner, and with their own brief reflection for the day.
For some suggestions as to how to get the most from the reading, click here.
Tuesday 28th April:
Tuesday of 3rd week of Easter
When asked to complete these reflections, it was suggested that they would be anonymous but I cannot reflect on the first reading without ‘breaking’ cover so to speak. (writes John Garvey!)
Today’s reading is about the stoning of St Stephen, the first martyr and also, one of the original seven deacons.
For me, in the final few months of training before ordination for the permanent diaconate (God willing), I find that this reading is food for my soul.
At times I feel so unprepared and inadequate for the diaconate that I don’t really know where to turn. Reading the account of St Stephen’s death and his ‘Christ like’ words asking for forgiveness at this very time in my life humbles me.
I am blessed to be in the position with so many supporters around me, to tentatively continue my journey towards ordination. I spend so much time thinking of ‘me’, whether I am worthy, whether I am capable, that I neglect to consider all those around me who will carry me when I fall, support me when I stumble and who have faith in me.
I selfishly ask for your prayers over the next few weeks but do so in the knowledge that I will be your servant in the future and feel so very fortunate to be a part of this parish.
First reading: Acts 7:51-8:1
‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit’
Stephen said to the people, the elders and the scribes: ‘You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Can you name a single prophet your ancestors never persecuted? In the past they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers. You who had the Law brought to you by angels are the very ones who have not kept it.’
They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’
At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him.
The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul.
As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’; and with these words he fell asleep. Saul entirely approved of the killing.