Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

On the Prayer of the First Christian Martyr
Zenit News Agency ^ | May 2, 2012 | Benedict XVI

Posted on 05/03/2012 7:38:30 AM PDT by ELS

On the Prayer of the First Christian Martyr

"Our prayer, too, should be nourished by listening to God's Word"

VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the Italian-language catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience held in St. Peter’s Square. On this first Wednesday in May the Holy Father continued his catecheses on prayer by reflecting on the witness and prayer of the Church’s first martyr, St. Stephen.

* * *

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the most recent catecheses, we have seen how in personal and communal prayer, reading and meditation on Sacred Scripture open us to hear God who speaks to us, and infuse us with light in order that we may understand the present. Today I would like to speak about the witness and prayer of the Church’s first martyr, St. Stephen, one of the seven who were chosen for the service of charity to those in need. At the moment of his martyrdom, as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles, the fruitful relationship between the Word of God and prayer is again revealed.

Stephen is brought into court before the Sanhedrin, where he is accused of having declared that “Jesus … will destroy this place, [the temple], and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us” (Acts 6:14). During His public life, Jesus had in effect foretold the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Yet, as the Evangelist John notes, “He spoke of the temple of His body. When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken” (John 2:21-22).

Stephen’s address before the tribunal, the longest in the Acts of the Apostles, expands precisely upon this prophecy of Jesus, who is the new temple, who inaugurates a new worship and who replaces the ancient sacrifices with His self-offering on the Cross. Stephen wants to show that the accusation made against him of subverting the law of Moses is unfounded and to illustrate his vision of salvation history, of the covenant between God and man. Thus, he reinterprets the whole biblical narrative, the itinerary contained in Sacred Scripture, in order to show that it leads to the “place” of God’s definitive presence, which is Jesus Christ, particularly His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Stephen also interprets his discipleship of Jesus within this perspective, following Him to the point of martyrdom. Meditation on Sacred Scripture thus allows him to understand his mission, his life, his present circumstances. In this, he is guided by the light of the Holy Spirit, by his intimate relationship with the Lord, so much so that the members of the Sanhedrin saw that his face “was like that of an angel” (Acts 6:15). This sign of divine assistance recalls the radiant face of Moses as he descended from Mount Sinai after having encountered God (cf. Exodus 34:29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:7-8).

In his address, Stephen begins with the call of Abraham, a pilgrim to the land indicated by God, which he possessed only as a promise; he then passes on to Joseph, who was sold by his brothers but was assisted and liberated by God, to finally reach Moses, who becomes God’s instrument to liberate His people but who also meets many times with rejection by the same people. What emerges from these events narrated by Sacred Scripture, which show Stephen’s devout hearing, is God, who never tires of going out to man even though He often meets with obstinate opposition, and this is true in the past, the present and the future. Therefore, he sees in the whole of the Old Testament the prefiguration of the coming of Jesus Himself, the Son of God made flesh, who -- like the ancient Fathers -- encounters obstacles, refusal and death. Stephen therefore refers to Joshua, to David and to Solomon, who were brought into relationship with the construction of the temple, and he concludes with the words of the prophet Isaiah (66:1-2): “Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?” (Acts 7:49-50).

In his meditation on God’s action in salvation history, by emphasizing the perennial temptation to reject God and His action, he affirms that Jesus is the Righteous One announced by the prophets; in Him, God himself has made Himself present in a unique and definitive way: Jesus is the “place” of true worship. Stephen does not deny the importance of the temple for a certain period of time, but he underscores that “God does not dwell in houses made with hands” (Acts 7:48). The new, true temple where God abides is His Son, who put on human flesh; it is the humanity of Christ, the Risen One who gathers the nations and unites them in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.

The expression of the temple as “not made by hands” is also found in the theology of St. Paul and in the Letter to the Hebrews; the body of Jesus, which He assumed in order to offer Himself as a sacrificial victim for the expiation of sins, the body of Jesus is the new temple of God, the place of the presence of the living God; in Him, God and man, God and the world are really in contact: Jesus takes upon Himself all the sin of humanity in order to cast it into God’s love and to “burn it” in this love. To approach the Cross, to enter into communion with Christ, means entering into this transformation. This is what it is to enter into contact with God, to enter into the true temple.

Stephen’s life and words are interrupted suddenly when he is stoned, but his martyrdom is the fulfillment of his life and of his message: he becomes one thing with Christ. Thus, his meditation on God’s action in history, on the divine Word, which in Jesus finds its complete fulfillment, becomes a participation in the same prayer of the Cross. Before dying, in fact, he exclaims: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59), taking as his own the words of Psalm 31 (verse 6) and following the last words of Jesus on Calvary: “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Lastly, like Jesus, he cries out in a loud voice before those who are stoning him: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). Let us note that, if on the one hand the prayer of Stephen harkens back to Jesus’, it is addressed to someone different, because the invocation is addressed to the Lord; that is to Jesus, whom he contemplates glorified at the right hand of the Father: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God” (verse 55).

Dear brothers and sisters, St. Stephen’s witness offers us several pointers for our prayer and for our lives. We may ask ourselves: where did this first Christian martyr find the strength to face his persecutors and in the end to attain to the gift of himself? The answer is simple: from his relationship with God, from his communion with Christ, from meditation on the history of salvation, from seeing God’s action, which in Jesus Christ reached its summit. Our prayer, too, should be nourished by listening to God’s Word, in communion with Jesus and His Church.

A second element: St. Stephen sees the figure and mission of Jesus prefigured in the story of the relationship of love between God and man. He -- the Son of God -- is the temple “not made by hands” where the presence of God the Father becomes so close that it enters into our human flesh, in order to lead us to God -- in order to open to us the gates of Heaven. Our prayer, then, should be a contemplation of Jesus at the right hand of God, of Jesus as Lord of our, or my, daily life. In Him, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we too can address God, we can make real contact with God, with the faith and abandonment of children who turn to a Father who loves them infinitely. Thank you.

[Translation by Diane Montagna]

[In English, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider the speech which Saint Stephen, the first martyr, delivered before his death.  Stephen’s words are clearly grounded in a prayerful re-reading of the Christ event in the light of God’s word. Accused of saying that Jesus would destroy the Temple and the customs handed down by Moses, Stephen responds by presenting Jesus as the Righteous One proclaimed by the prophets, in whom God has become present to humanity in a unique and definitive way. As the Son of God made man, Jesus is himself the true temple of God in the world; by His death for our sins and His rising to new life, He has now become the definitive “place” where true worship is offered to God. Stephen’s witness to Christ, nourished by prayer, culminates in his martyrdom. By his intercession and example may we learn daily to unite prayer, contemplation of Christ and reflection on God’s word. In this way we will appreciate more deeply God’s saving plan, and make Christ truly the Lord of our lives.

* * *

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s audience, including those from England, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Nigeria, Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States. I offer a cordial welcome to the delegation from the Christian Council of Norway and to the ecumenical groups from Sweden. I also thank the traditional choir from Indonesia for their song. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke God’s abundant blessings.

© Copyright 2012 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

[In Italian, he said:]

Lastly, a thought goes to young people, to the sick and to newlyweds. May the joy of Easter continue to enliven your lives; dear young people, do not extinguish the aspiration to happiness characteristic of your age, by knowing how to find true joy, which only the Risen one can give; dear sick, may you courageously face the trial of your suffering through the awareness that life should always be lived as God’s gift; and may you, dear newlyweds, know how to draw from the teachings of the Gospel all that is necessary for building an authentic community of love.

[Translation by Diane Montagna]


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; History; Prayer
KEYWORDS: generalaudience; popebenedictxvi; prayer; ststephen

A nun films as Pope Benedict XVI leads his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican May 2, 2012. (Reuters Pictures)
1 posted on 05/03/2012 7:38:34 AM PDT by ELS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: clockwise; bornacatholic; Miss Marple; bboop; PandaRosaMishima; Carolina; MillerCreek; ...
Weekly audience ping!

Please let me know if you want to be on or off this ping list.

2 posted on 05/03/2012 7:39:56 AM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ELS

add me


3 posted on 05/03/2012 7:57:59 AM PDT by Rich21IE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ELS

Remember Abel, Genesis chapter 4?
Remember Hebrews chapter 11:14?
You guys need to do more research.


4 posted on 05/03/2012 9:17:55 AM PDT by WestwardHo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ELS

Acts 7
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
7 Then the high priest said: Are these things so?
2 Who said: Ye men, brethren, and fathers, hear. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan.
3 And said to him: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
4 Then he went out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein you now dwell.
5 And he gave him no inheritance in it; no, not the pace of a foot: but he promised to give it him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
6 And God said to him: That his seed should sojourn in a strange country, and that they should bring them under bondage, and treat them evil four hundred years.
7 And the nation which they shall serve will I judge, said the Lord; and after these things they shall go out, and shall serve me in this place.
8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he begot Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob; and Jacob the twelve patriarchs.
9 And the patriarchs, through envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; and God was with him,
10 And delivered him out of all his tribulations: and he gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao, the king of Egypt; and he appointed him governor over Egypt, and over all his house.
11 Now there came a famine upon all Egypt and Chanaan, and great tribulation; and our fathers found no food.
12 But when Jacob had heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent our fathers first:
13 And at the second time, Joseph was known by his brethren, and his kindred was made known to Pharao.
14 And Joseph sending, called thither Jacob, his father, and all his kindred, seventy-five souls.
15 So Jacob went down into Egypt; and he died, and our fathers.
16 And they were translated into Sichem, and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem.
17 And when the time of the promise drew near, which God had promised to Abraham, the people increased, and were multiplied in Egypt,
18 Till another king arose in Egypt, who knew not Joseph.
19 This same dealing craftily with our race, afflicted our fathers, that they should expose their children, to the end they might not be kept alive.
20 At the same time was Moses born, and he was acceptable to God: who was nourished three months in his father’s house.
21 And when he was exposed, Pharao’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.
22 And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and in his deeds.
23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.
24 And when he had seen one of them suffer wrong, he defended him; and striking the Egyptian, he avenged him who suffered the injury.
25 And he thought that his brethren understood that God by his hand would save them; but they understood it not.
26 And the day following, he shewed himself to them when they were at strife; and would have reconciled them in peace, saying: Men, ye are brethren; why hurt you one another?
27 But he that did the injury to his neighbour thrust him away, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us?
28 What, wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian?
29 And Moses fled upon this word, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begot two sons.
30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the desert of mount Sina, an angel in a flame of fire in a bush.
31 And Moses seeing it, wondered at the sight. And as he drew near to view it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
32 I am the God of thy fathers; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses being terrified, durst not behold.
33 And the Lord said to him: Loose the shoes from thy feet, for the place wherein thou standest, is holy ground.
34 Seeing I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, and I will send thee into Egypt.
35 This Moses, whom they refused, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge? him God sent to be prince and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
36 He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the desert forty years.
37 This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel: A prophet shall God raise up to you of your own brethren, as myself: him shall you hear.
38 This is he that was in the church in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on mount Sina, and with our fathers; who received the words of life to give unto us.
39 Whom our fathers would not obey; but thrust him away, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt,
40 Saying to Aaron: Make us gods to go before us. For as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.
41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
42 And God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven, as it is written in the books of the prophets: Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me for forty years, in the desert, O house of Israel?
43 And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Rempham, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
44 The tabernacle of the testimony was with our fathers in the desert, as God ordained for them, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the form which he had seen.
45 Which also our fathers receiving, brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David.
46 Who found grace before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
47 But Solomon built him a house.
48 Yet the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands, as the prophet saith:
49 Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. What house will you build me? saith the Lord; or what is the place of my resting?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things?
51 You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also.
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
54 Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
56 And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him.
57 And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul.
58 And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
59 And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.
<<
<
=
=
>
>>
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
by

Bible Gateway Recommendations


5 posted on 05/03/2012 9:36:44 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ELS
Stephen without asking for forgiveness we would not proably had Paul

ACTS 7:56 And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him.

57 And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul.

58 And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

59 And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.

6 posted on 05/03/2012 9:48:51 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo
Stephen was the first Christian martyr. Christ wasn't around at the time of Cain and Abel. Reading comprehension is your friend.

martyr: a person who suffers very much or is killed because of their political or religious beliefs

Was Abel a martyr? I don't think Cain killed him for his religious beliefs.

Hebrews 11:14 - "For they that say these things, do signify that they seek a country."

What is your point?

7 posted on 05/03/2012 9:52:36 AM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ELS

Please put me on the Ping! Thanks for Article!!


8 posted on 05/03/2012 3:34:28 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ELS; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ..

Papal audience ping!


9 posted on 05/03/2012 3:45:24 PM PDT by NYer (Open to scriptural suggestions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ELS

Fabulous image! Thanks for posting it.


10 posted on 05/03/2012 3:46:37 PM PDT by NYer (Open to scriptural suggestions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

You’re welcome. There were very few images posted by Reuters this week. I wish we could show photos by Getty Images. They have some great photos.


11 posted on 05/04/2012 6:50:22 AM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ELS
“Christ wasn't around at the time of Cain and Abel.”
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was in the beginning with God 3. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being has come into being. 4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

John 1:1 “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have beheld and our hands handled concerning the Word of Life— 2. and the life was manifested to us—3. what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

“Was Abel a martyr? I don't think Cain killed him for his religious beliefs.”
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and though faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.”

Hebrews 11:35 breaks into a whole chapter listing Trophies of Grace: “..and others were tortured, not accepting their release in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36. and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38. (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. 39. And all these, having gained approval through their faith...”
They were Old Testament Christians. Their faith was in the promises of the coming Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in the same way we are Christians looking back at Christ's finished work at Calvary, His resurrection and ascension into Glory.
“That where I Am, you may be also.”

12 posted on 05/04/2012 8:45:04 AM PDT by WestwardHo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo; johngrace; ELS
I suggest that you read the rest of John 1. Specifically:

John 1:
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)

Now ... did Abel live and die before, or after "The Word became flesh"?

The answer, obviously is "before". God the Son, The Word, had NOT "become flesh" at the time of Abel. To say that "Christ", that is the Anointed One, the Word made Flesh, was around at the time of Abel is to depart from Christianity.

13 posted on 05/04/2012 8:53:51 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

Hebrews 11:35 breaks into a whole chapter listing Trophies of Grace: “..and others were tortured, not accepting their release in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36. and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38. (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. 39. And all these, having gained approval through their faith...”
They were Old Testament Christians. Their faith was in the promises of the coming Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in the same way we are Christians looking back at Christ’s finished work at Calvary, His resurrection and ascension into Glory.
“That where I Am, you may be also.”


14 posted on 05/04/2012 9:01:47 AM PDT by WestwardHo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo
They were Old Testament Christians.

If you or your particular denomination wish to characterize folks as "Christians" who lived and died before Christ, I suppose that's your business.

Trying to impose your unconventional terminology on others, or berating them for not adopting it, just makes you look silly.

'nuff said.

15 posted on 05/04/2012 9:13:10 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard; WestwardHo; ELS
Yeah! I do not know why we would even bring it up. But it is good to know about the old testament martyrs. But we are showing the first Christian martyrs.

I think we are just trying to be too deep. But nothing wrong showing people of Faith stepping up with the Lord in any time of God pre- Christ as human or after but the topic is the first real Christian martyr.

What is amazing is Stephen's witness and Awesome Faith under pressure. What is astounding is Saul who becomes Paul is there. Stephen forgives him within the group.

What I see is one of many things is true forgiveness towards others. Also just how powerful it truly is in this walk we have on he earth.

How God works in the whole Salvation plan from one to another in the Spirit.

Later Paul writes:

Galations 2:

20 And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.

Just what love and forgiveness our Saviour has for us.

Praise Jesus!!! Amen!

16 posted on 05/04/2012 10:03:03 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

I am always staggered by Hannah, a mere wife an mother in Isreal, her change of heart in chapter one, and then her prayer in chapter two. What incredible knowledge of God, Biblical theology, and her profound prayer.

Then Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against
my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Thy
salvation.
“There is no one holy like the
Lord,
Indeed there is no one besides
Thee,
Nor is there any rock like our
God.

That is the Gospel. That is the prayer planted in Hannah’s heart by the Holy Spirit, directed to the God of her salvation—the Lord.
No, she didn’t have “Christian” on her name tag, but it was stamped on her heart.


17 posted on 05/04/2012 10:59:53 AM PDT by WestwardHo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo
No, she didn’t have “Christian” on her name tag

She also didn't believe in, profess, or proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

How do I know this?

Because, when she lived it hadn't happened yet.

Nobody's denigrating the holiness of various Old Testament people, nor denying their faith in God as He revealed Himself to them, nor suggesting that they didn't live in hope of a Messiah.

We merely point out that it hadn't happened yet, when they lived and died.

It's a simple, Biblical fact that St. Stephen was the first person to be killed for proclaiming the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

That shouldn't be a big issue. Post #4 was simply uncalled for.

18 posted on 05/04/2012 11:12:29 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: ELS
Dear brothers and sisters, St. Stephen’s witness offers us several pointers for our prayer and for our lives. We may ask ourselves: where did this first Christian martyr find the strength to face his persecutors and in the end to attain to the gift of himself? The answer is simple: from his relationship with God, from his communion with Christ, from meditation on the history of salvation, from seeing God’s action, which in Jesus Christ reached its summit. Our prayer, too, should be nourished by listening to God’s Word, in communion with Jesus and His Church.

As we watch the incessant attacks on the West, from mohammedans, communiststs, secularists ... let us follow St. Stephen's example. Be fearless in proclaiming Christ, look to God for our strength, see our ultimate good in our relationship with Our Lord.

19 posted on 05/04/2012 11:17:41 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

Christ is proclaimed in one way or another on almost every page of the Old Testament.
Job’s faith was in the resurrection.
Abraham’s faith was in the resurrection.
Ever since God declared the coming of the Curse Reverser
in Genesis chapter 4, souls were looking forward to the Messiah.
Amazing what they knew when they didn’t have the completed Scripture in their hands.
Isaiah 53 says it all perfectly.
IMHO it took a lot more faith to wait for Messiah’s coming, than to live in our day of looking back to Christ’s finished work.


20 posted on 05/04/2012 12:01:13 PM PDT by WestwardHo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo
Christ is proclaimed

He is prophesied, foreshadowed, and typed ... but "proclaimed" refers to actions taken after the fact.

There's a difference between a prophet and a disciple.

21 posted on 05/04/2012 1:27:30 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo; ArrogantBustard

ArrogantBustard has responded to most of your points. Thanks, AB! Regarding what motivated Cain to kill Abel, jealousy and envy probably were stronger motivators than the faith of Abel. Cain did not kill Abel because Abel professed the “wrong” religion.


22 posted on 05/04/2012 2:36:38 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson