May 2, 2017
(St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep. Acts_7:51—8:1a
Lord do not hold this sin against them!
What more beautiful prayer could we possibly make! Even in the midst of persecution and murder, just like Jesus we offer our lives to those who would pluck our beards, to those who would bully and tease us, to those who take our jobs, prepare weapons of mass destruction, go wild with killing. Lord do not hold those sins against them, but change their hearts, change their souls, and teach them the meaning of true repentance.
But it’s not our will, but Yours, Lord. For You we offer all of our anger and our hatred. We burn them on the altar of Your love, never again allowing them to steal our hearts away. For our love for You burns even greater than any act of revenge or any self-concept of justice.
We are Yours and we know that You are ours!
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” Jn_6:30-35
Fill us, Lord, with Your Life!
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