Friday, August 18, 2017 UTC

DEC 27: COMMEMORATION OF ST. STEPHEN PROTOMARTYR

StStephenMartyr DEC 27: DIVINE LITURGY – 10:00 AM.

The Church celebrates the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The Holy Spirit worked powerfully through his faith, enabling him to perform many miracles and always defeat the Jews who would dispute with him. He was stoned outside Jerusalem for blasphemy and died praying for his executioners as witnessed by the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian. He was one of the seven deacons who helped the apostles.

Today’s Gospel Reading is Matthew 21:33-42, The Parable of the Vineyard. Shortly after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus teaches about his impending death through a parable about tenants who seize and kill the landowner’s son. These events are interpreted as fulfillment of prophecy about rejection and vindication. This parable speaks to us today for it conveys some important truths about God and the way he deals with his people.  First, it tells us of God’s generosity and trust.  The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need.  The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants.  God, likewise trusts us enough to give us freedom to run life as we choose.  This parable also tells us of God’s patience and justice.  Not once, but many times he forgives the tenants their debts.  But while the tenants take advantage of the owner’s patience, his judgment and justice prevail in the end.

 

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