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Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.--Psalm 31:6
Mass readings: Acts 6:8-10;7:54-59 / Matthew 10:17-22
Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the new community of Christ in Jerusalem. The fearless young Stephen died a brutal death for the sake of Our Lord.
Suffering, whether it's mental, physical or spiritual, is undesired and yet unavoidable in everyone's life. We need confidence in the Lord and the help of the Spirit to accept our suffering gracefully. But like our faith -- which can waver between strong and shaky -- so, too, our acceptance of suffering. It's good to remember that no matter at what stage our faith or our acceptance of suffering may be, the Spirit of the Lord is always present with us. In today's Gospel, Christ assures us the Holy Spirit doesn't abandon us.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help all those who are suffering better recognize You are with them.
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