Saint Stephen, the Deacon

Stephen martry
Our readings from the  Acts of the Apostles this week  tell us one thing about the early church: it doesn’t evolve through human planning but from God’s plan. The disciples  certainly didn’t expect Stephen.

The church was pretty settled in Jerusalem after Jesus rose from the dead, according to Acts. The followers of Jesus, good Jews, continued to worship in the temple. Yes, there  were occasional squabbles with the Jewish leaders, but they worshipped and preached in Jerusalem. It was their world. Besides praying in the temple, they met together, probably on Mount Sion where the Last Supper was celebrated. They broke bread and prayed there.

They were mostly Galileans at first, then others joined them from elsewhere. One of them was Stephen.

Stephen was a new-comer. He may have been a Samaritan, which may explain his polemic against the Judaism of the day.  The scriptures see him as one who follows Jesus in his passion. So many of his sufferings are like those Jesus endured. But he was also the cause of the first scattering of believers to other places. He was brash and undiplomatic. I would guess some of the Galileans didn’t like him.

Yes, he was a saint, but a hard-nosed saint.

He brought  change, or better, God did.

Readings here.

Morning and evening prayers, 3rd week,  here.  

 

3 thoughts on “Saint Stephen, the Deacon

  1. Howard Hain

    Fr. Victor,

    I agree about your comment concerning losing our taste for retreats. May we never lose sight of our most natural state—as sons and daughters of the one true God. In this sense I have often thought that “retreats” should be called “returns”. For isn’t it more natural for us to sit quietly, to pray, to love, to praise Him for His glory?

    —Howard Hain

    Like

  2. vhoagland Post author

    Howard,

    Yes, “return” is a good word. Nobody like to retreat. Wish we had the dedication I see in the training facility for Olympic athletes right across the street from where I’m staying.
    Fr.Victor

    Like

  3. cenaclemary12

    Olympians on the move to disciples seems like those first ones who were plain ordinary fishermen, tax collector, or whatever. Their conversion was gradual eventhough they had direct access to the Master Olympian. I do see many person who exhibit extraordinary love in self-sacrificing acts. There is a special segment at the end fo the evening news 7 called “America Strong” which features persons who go beyond to make a difference. Whether realized or not, their deeds of goodness are the “work of God,” Just noting that our humanity becoming god-like is a slow process.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s