Post-feast of the Nativity of Christ; the Holy Apostle, First Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen; Our Venerable Father and Confessor Theodore the “Branded One” (844)
No fasting or abstinence.
Acts 6:8-7:5,47-60; Matthew 21:33-42
Christ is born!
On the third day of the Nativity the Church gives us to contemplate the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen. St. Stephen gives us an insight as to the purpose of the coming of our Lord. That through His incarnation our human nature may be filled with the light, love and the life of God. That by the power of the Holy Spirit we we may become ‘partakers of the Divine Nature’ (2 Peter 1:4) and in so doing become little Christs to the world.
St. Stephen beautiful patterns the life of Christ as a strong witness of the truth of the Gospel, through his fearless preaching of truth, the gift of deep spiritual insight, his meek self-sacrificial spirit, and his deep love for neighbour as witnessed by his final words of forgivenesses expressed toward his persecutors: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60).
If I allow it the incarnation can make a profound difference in my life. If I allow the Lord to be formed in me. If I make the Lord my first priority in all things. If I embrace my calling as a Christian to witness to the Joy of the Gospel. I too will become filled, by the power of the Holy Spirit, with the light, love and life of God. Then I too, like St. Stephen, will become a shining light in this world overcome with darkness.