Stephen, known as the first Christian martyr, was one of the seven men chosen by the apostles to help serve the body of Christ. He was described as a man full of wisdom and of the Spirit. Stephen took full pleasure in looking after the needy. Aside from this, he decided to preach the gospel. Standing before the Sanhedrin, he shared God’s Truth and the Good News about Jesus. Instead of receiving a positive response, the people got angry with God’s message, dragged Stephen outside the walls of the city and began throwing stones at him. The stones were like heavy raindrops ready to kill him at any moment.
Stephen got on his knees and prayed “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Lay not this sin up against them”. We learn from the life of Stephen what Christian commitment really is. Though hated and underestimated by the scores of the other side, may we be Christians who rise above it. The name Stephen means “victor’s crown”. Stephen actually won that in his martyrdom. His story taught us that the world may reject us but we choose to endure knowing that heaven will heartily accept us.
READINGS: ACTS 7:54-60