December 26, 2020

Feast of Saint Stephen

They could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he [Stephen] spoke.

When you read Stephen’s entire speech as recorded by Luke, one can understand why the Jews were moved to stone him. I think I would have been eager to do so myself. Stephen could have used a few instructions from Dale Carnegie. The gospel tells us that we need “not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” It didn’t say we should make no effort to be persuasive.

This is not to criticize Stephen. Rather, it is to suggest that we look to ourselves and ask how we speak when trying to convince others about the teaching of Jesus or how to live Christ-like lives in our day and age. Jesus tells us not to worry because we will not be the ones speaking because “the Spirit of your Father [will be] speaking through you.” This implies that we live on the same wavelength as the Holy Spirit to recognize his voice amid the myriad of other voices that often drown him out.

The best way to be attuned to the Holy Spirit is to become more and more familiar with God’s word in the Scriptures and to familiarize ourselves with the life and teaching of Jesus. The Mass is important for that, as is the prayer of adoration that we make our own reflecting on what we have read or heard in the New Testament.

What effort do we make to attune ourselves to the ways of God?

Let Us Pray:

O loving God, help me to hear and meditate on your word so that I may speak a God-word to others. Root out my pride and anything that prevents others from hearing you in what I do and what I say.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
To receive the Daily Eucharistic Reflection in your email, please contact Director, CEE [cee@blessedsacrament.com]


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.