The Power of Witness
I will look for the positive side in everyone
by Catholic.net | Source: Catholic.net
Lord, I open my heart to you on this new day.
Because of your unfailing love for me, you deserve my deep gratitude and complete confidence in you,
so I set my entire being at your disposal. Do with me what you wish. I know that you love me and
that nothing that can truly harm me will happen as long as I keep striving to live in your
Lord, help me to experience your forgiveness and learn to
forgive in return.
1. “Do Not Hold This Sin Against Them!”
These words of St.
Stephen (Acts 7:60) repeat Christ’s last words on earth. He has entered into Christ’s heart. He is
on fire for his Lord. This fire is making him pass through the same crucible of rejection and death
that Christ passed through. And he is walking in the fire without being scorched. His heart burns so
much for Christ that it cannot fester with hatred and despair. Like his Lord, he wants only the
salvation of his persecutors. Am I letting my heart to be ignited with the flame of love that
burns in that Child in the manger? Am I showing the zeal of love that is selfless
2. The Case of Saul:
The Acts of the Apostles records the approval of
Stephen’s martyrdom by Saul. Saul was a man who thought he understood everything. He thought he knew
how evil Stephen was and what a threat his teaching brought. His intentions seemed correct, but he
was dead wrong. Saul will later speak of himself as someone born dead. He was dead –– dead in his
soul – because he had missed the point. Yet God is merciful. Saul soon becomes St. Paul. Jesus
accepts the prayer of Stephen just as the Father accepts the prayer of Jesus. We do not need to be
afraid. God accepts our prayers, too. He will do marvels if we persevere in prayer and
3. Hard of Heart:
We’re often pushed out of our comfort zone by Christ’s
message. We are ready to be forgiven by Christ and by others, but it is not so easy to take the
logical next step of quickly and easily forgiving others. To become a forgiving St. Stephen we need
to keep in mind that we, too, are Sauls. The Christmas Season is a perfect time for a change of
heart. By contemplating today the loving face of God in that child in the manger we can experience
his tender, infinite love for us. Anchored in his friendship we can gain the magnanimity of heart to
set aside any ill will from past injuries and desire for everyone to find the peace and joy that
only comes from knowing the Word Incarnate.
Conversation with Christ:
thank you for the example of St. Stephen, the first martyr
of your young Church. On this day
after your birth, you also show
me the birth of total courage in love. I believe that I am safe
your arms no matter how hard the difficulties. I believe that you
entrust me with your
mission. Today I renew the commitment to
be faithful to my mission as a Christian and an apostle
on the battlefield.” Jesus, you are my Lord. I will follow
Today I will look for the positive side in everyone I
meet. I will look beyond their limitations. I will forgive anyone who might offend me.
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