Pope Francis: Christ Transforms Death Into the Dawn of New Life

 

The second day of Christmas — today — is St Stephen’s Day.

Why would the Church remember the first martyr, a Deacon who was stoned to death for his faith, in the middle of this most joyous season of the year?

I think that St Stephen’s martyrdom is a reminder to all of us that we are crowned with eternal life, but that crown has thorns. In this world, the peace and joy of Christmas are blunted by reminders of the suffering of our persecuted brothers and sisters, as well as the challenges to religious liberty and freedom of conscience here at home.

We no longer live in a Christian nation. We live in post Christian America. This is a fact we all need to absorb. The more you speak for Jesus, the more you will be attacked. Do not let that deter you from taking a stand for Christ. Remember that you are an immortal soul who wears the crown of eternal life. Know that whatever people may try to do to you, Our God will find a way to use it for the good of His Church.

Pope Francis spoke of this great hope that sustains us, as well as the sobering reality of present-day Christian persecution in his St Stephen’s Day homily. St Stephen was the first martyr. Christian martyrs of the 21st Century join him every day.

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  • pagansister

    I was married 49 years ago today, and had, at that time, no idea it was St. Stephen’s day! Found that out many, many years later.

    • hamiltonr

      So … do you get double Christmas presents, or do you celebrate Christmas one day and your anniversary the next?

      • pagansister

        Generally we separate the 2 days. The reason for the day after Christmas is that we got married between quarters in college, so had a limited amount of time to marry and have a break (honeymoon was setting up an apartment ) before starting classes again. :-)

        • hamiltonr

          We spent our “honeymoon” moving, too. Seems to work out, doesn’t it?

          • pagansister

            Yes, it certainly does. :-)

    • FW Ken

      A friend of mine was born on December 26. Growing up, they celebrated his “half-birthday” on June 26. Plenty of presents and a swimming party most summer’s. :-)

    • peggy-o

      Happy Anniversary pagansister! I bet you were a great teacher at your school!

      • pagansister

        Thank you, Rebecca. I would like to think I was a “great teacher” at my school. I know I never got tired of being with the little ones and watching them grow and learn over the school year in not only the “academics” but in their religious education too. Loved teaching them the “Hail Mary” and the “Our Father” and getting the different ways they came out when trying to recite them. Amazing! :-)

        • hamiltonr

          You’re a lovely pagan, Pagansister.

          • pagansister

            Sorry abut the mix up with peggy-o and her post to me. Thank you for your kind words.

      • pagansister

        peggy-o, I apologize for not looking carefully and seeing that that was your good wishes above and your compliment!

        • peggy-o

          no worries, happy new year!

          • pagansister

            Happy New Year to you also, peggy-o!

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    “We no longer live in a Christian nation. We live in post Christian America. This is a fact we all need to absorb. ”
    I don’t know if that’s true yet. Europe may be post Christian but we till have about 70% in the latest Pew Poll on religion that believed in God. It may be on the decline but it’s not over yet. Once Obama leaves office, with luck we’ll hae a believer in the White House again who will provide a different, better perspective.

    • hamiltonr

      Manny, I’m on a kinda vacation, so I don’t want to go into this too much right now. But you’re talking about something that I’m doing my best to lead people away from, which is thinking that we can bring the Kingdom through politics. I absolutely think that people should bring their faith to their politics, but politics is not faith and it will not save us. We need to stand up for Jesus and turn this culture around one person at a time, which is exactly what the 12 Apostles did. I know I’m not saying this well, and as I said, I can’t go into it in depth right now. I need a few days rest from this for my own self. We’ll talk more later. Much more. Luv ya Manny.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        I agree, we cannot bring the Kingdom through politics,but politics sets the mindset that leads people into a degrading direction. Laws do set the cultural tone. When every movie damatizes gratuitous sex and violence and every pop song preaches radical egotism, then Satan has taken over the culture. Some of that can be ameliorated through laws. We can start by outlawing the porn industry.

        • hamiltonr

          All true Manny.


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