Wednesday of the 3rd week of Eastertide
or Saint Martin I, Pope, Martyr
Acts 8:1-8; John 6.35-40
Stephen is said to be the first martyr and sure to the word, he was. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Stephen was the first to die for him. It is a bit amazing how God work in mysterious way. Stephen was not even one of the 12 apostles but seemingly had more courage to what he believed even we can say more than Peter. We noted Peter was just threatened and he denied Jesus three times. Nothing could stop deacon Stephen from preaching what he believed. Actually Stephen challenged the apostles and that is why they came out now strongly and a real persecution started. We realize only the apostles who did not run away.
Saul was determined to eliminate the Christians. He was the flag bearer of the crusade against Christians. As we have said earlier, the running away can be termed as God’s doing. Those who ran away carried with them the Good News. Philip is one of the fellow deacon to Stephen and went to other places preaching the Gospel. The Good News is that Jesus is the bread of life and no one will be hungry anymore.
Though many authors look at the bread as the Eucharist, the bread is any good human need. Life, peace, food, water, clothing store, shelter, health ecc. Thus when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, by the mention of bread signify all that we need from God. Jesus is actually the giver of everything. All that is needed is faith And to do the will of God the Father. Even if it dawn to us that we are loosing everything (death), actually we are gaining eternal life.
This is the same faith and wish to do the will of the Father in heaven that made people like St. Pope. Martin I to stand firm for the faith. Martin I was arrested for condemning the Monothelism heresy that taught that Jesus did not have human will. Martin died on 1st September, 655 from the injuries he sustained in prison.
St. Theresa of Lisiuex, pray for us.