Saturday, December 26, 2020

Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr

“Love is the stairway that leads into heaven,” a beautiful expression from a reading celebrating the Feast of St. Stephen, first Martyr of the Church. He died loving his enemies, those throwing stones of hatred; those belonging to the same religion he professed. The words of Stephen that provoked such hatred and violence spoke the Truth about the identity and mission of Jesus.

Stephen’s words pierced their hearts and closed their hearts tightly. Stephen “opened” his heart as they were killing him, telling the Lord to not take this violent action against them. In the midst of his killing, as he loved, Stephen saw a vision of heaven, the place he was about to enter. LOVE was his path beyond Tver vision snd into reality. Love is the stairway to heaven....

All of us experience rejection from the people right around us, in families and parishes, from those you wouldn’t expect. There will always be people who we don’t like or don’t like us. Individuals can become piercing thorns in our sides; we can become piercing thighs in the side of others, just the same.

Our response: to love as best we can. By loving the other we don’t like, we see in them Christ, the foundation of all Love. To love is a choice not rooted in emotion or chemistry but in the Truth that we are all connected by God’s Love, especially when it doesn’t feel like it.

Love... choose to love... keep loving... keep climbing the ladder of love that will lead you into paradise....eventually.

Merry Christmas!!
Fr. Frank