April 16, Tuesday Easter Weekday
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. — Psalm 31:6
Mass Readings: Acts 7:51-8:1a/John 6:30-35
Killing the Messenger
The irony in today’s first reading is not subtle. Stephen tells the Jews, “Your ancestors didn’t like what the prophets told them, so they persecuted them. And you’re just like them!” In response the Jews, who don’t like what Stephen is telling them, cover their ears and kill him. Stephen, whose zeal and imitation of Christ are admirable, only adds to our estimate of his saintliness by not saying, “I told you so!”
But before I judge the Jews in this story, I need to ask if I’ve ever dealt with an uncomfortable truth about myself by “killing the messenger,” closing my ears or slamming the door or punishing a frank-speaking spouse or child or friend with silence. When correction is delivered in love, humility asks me to accept it in the same spirit.
Prayer: God, grant me openness to the uncomfortable truth spoken in love.
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