In this lesson we study the Liturgical Feast of St. Stephen and the traditions and customs associated with this 2nd Day in the Octave of Christmas.
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INTROIT Ps. 118:23, 86, 23 Princes met and spoke against me, and the wicked persecuted me. Help me, O Lord my God, because Your servant has followed Your commandments. Ps. 118:1. Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. V. Glory Be …
Lessons Learned from St. Stephen:
The Holy Spirit at Christmas
The liturgy of Christmas, while drawing our gaze to the Son, the Word made flesh, in no way obscures or minimizes the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit. Quite by chance, I came upon this astonishing text of Saint Ephrem the Syrian: "At this feast of the Nativity let each person wreathe the door of his heart so that the Holy Spirit may delight in that door, enter in and make there his dwelling; then by the Spirit we will be made holy."
Grace and Power
It is remarkable that Saint Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, describes Saint Stephen in today's First Reading as "full of grace and power" (Ac 6:8). The phrase has a distinctively Marian resonance. To Mary, the "highly-favoured" of God (Lk 1:28), the "full of grace," the angel Gabriel says: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee" (Lk 1:35). The words addressed to the Virgin Mary in a particular way hold universal import for the Church.
On this second day of Christmas, Stephen, "full of grace and power"(Ac 6:8) is the radiant icon of the Church indwelt and overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Without leaving Mary and the Infant Christ, we pass to Stephen and the Infant Christ, to Stephen and the Infant Church.
The Spirit of Truth
Saint Luke tells us that those who disputed Stephen "could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke" (Ac 6:10). Stephen of the growing Church, like Jesus at the age of twelve (Lk 2:42) opens his mouth in the midst of the people, the elders, and the scribes, and his utterance is evidence of the Holy Spirit sent to the Church in fulfillment of Jesus' promises. “When the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me” (Jn 15:26).
Source: Vultus Christi
Feast of the Finding of St. Stephen:
In the year 415 the precious relics of St. Stephen, the first martyr, were miraculously discovered by a priest near the city of Jerusalem. The Church commemorates this event by celebrating a second feast (on August 3rd) in honor of Stephen, a man aflame with the charity of the Holy Spirit. In our efforts to follo... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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