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IMITATING JESUS IN LIFE AND DEATH

Father Francis's picture
Third Week of Easter

Acts. 7:51-8:1 & Jn. 6:30-35

Despite the fact that Jesus fed 5,000 people on raw fish and five loaves they wanted further proof of Who He was. I cannot believe they had the audacity to ask Him for another sign! Was that miracle not enough?

Making the point that it was not Moses who had fed their ancestors with manna in the desert, but His Father, He adds, “It is My Father who gives you the bread from Heaven, the true bread.”

Saint Stephen lived and died like his Master, Jesus, opposing the Sanhedrin and calling them stubborn people with pagan hearts and pagan ears, who were always resisting the Holy Spirit. Strengthened by the vision of Jesus standing at God's right hand, like Him he was dragged outside the city walls and put to death. And like Jesus, he forgave the very people who were killing him.

Stephen was the first martyr to die defending the teachings of Jesus. He endured, even welcomed, the pains of a brutal death because he loved Jesus and wanted to follow Him.

Each one of us is called to be a saint. We may never have to suffer martyrdom but we will have trials to varying degrees. Stephen was able to live and die like Jesus because he relied not on his own strength but that given to him in the Holy Eucharist.

Lord Jesus, You have given us that same source of strength, offering us the bread of life. If we believe in You we shall never thirst; if we come to You we shall never be hungry.

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