STEPPING INTO PURPOSE
“When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Mt. 10:19-20
Christmas is a season filled with great joy: people spend time with their loved ones, giving and receiving gifts of love… tis the season of happy cheers and mistletoes.
But how does the story of Christmas transform our lives? St. Stephen was “filled with grace and power.” He was able to work great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8). He lived the mystery of Christ and he forgave his tormentors. St. Stephen was a fearless witness to Christ. I believe that his courage came from knowing his belovedness. He radiated peace to the unjust world not because it was a politically correct thing to do or a cool thing to do. He radiated so much peace because he witnessed the most genuine love (John 15:13). He was able to witness to love because he did not isolate himself in self-love. His gaze was fixed toward heaven. Nothing could shake his core: blessed and beloved to the end.
Anticipating 2017 brings me excitement but also a little bit of anxiety. Will I soar, or will I shrink in fear? Do I have the courage to love relentlessly and build bridges? Will I settle in personal comfort? What if I try and fail again? What if I check off my dreams in 2017? Will I be prepared for the responsibilities that come with my answered prayers? Will I succeed in taking in one day at a time… or will I still time travel, living in the future or dwelling in the past?
Recently, I learned not to despise the days of small beginnings. Our Lord Jesus was born in a manger. His circumstances did not fluctuate his identity and self-worth. The story of Christmas and of St. Stephen’s life remind me that events of this life are not the most important. Sun and rain should not dictate my happiness and my joy.
I’ve found that it is the who that is most important. They are the people accompanying me in this journey.
When I tremble, when fear knocks on the door of my heart, today’s reading reminds us:
“When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
I thank God for that reminder.