Monday, May 07, 2012
Accusation against Stephen
Please read the passage below from the Acts of the Apostles (6:8-15):
Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. Then they instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They presented false witnesses who testified, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Let us continue the story of the Pilgrimage. The next morning April 25th, I was at St. James Church before 10:00 a.m. to prepare for the English Mass. I was chosen to be the main celebrant for the first time in Medjugorje. The Church was full of people including of course our group. I spoke to them at the homily of the importance of humility. The Lord loves a humble heart. We all tend to be proud but we have to pray for humility. In the Gospel of the day Jesus said these words, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.” Every believer should listen to these words and be ready to witness about their faith to anyone he or she meets. Do not be afraid to talk about the Lord to anyone. I spoke of the great place Medjugorje is, where Our Blessed Mother appears every day. May all the people of the world be converted. This is the end of my report on this great pilgrimage to Europe.
(Below you will find the message of Our Lord and Savior given to Father Melvin. Jesus spoke to him these words.)
“I send you My blessing, My brother Melvin and all My brothers and sisters scattered all over the world. One who was also blessed by Me was Saint Stephen, the first Deacon appointed by the Apostles. He was a great man of faith who was not afraid to preach the Word of God. The Jewish people did not accept him but accused him of all kinds of lies. At the end they arrested him, brought him to court, accused him of blasphemy, and at the end they killed him by stoning him. He is one who witnessed to Me in a powerful way and because of him many were converted. Today we need many believers like Saint Stephen who bring those far away from Me back to My Church. Pray, My dear friends, that many people will open their hearts to receive the graces I have for them. Another person who was a great witness was St. Padre Pio of Italy. Another great witness is Mother Teresa of Calcutta. They are great examples for you.”