With the joy of Christ’s birth ringing in the air we celebrate today the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr. Why? To help us see the connection between the Christ’s birth and saving death as we offer our lives for the Lord. Thus, the Christmas spirit gives us hope to face the sacrifices of this life with the conviction that the Jesus Christ will guide and lead us to Heaven.
The resurrection. Life after death. Eternal communion with God and one another. This crucial teaching reminds us of what is at stake in the battlefield of our souls – the opportunity for everlasting life with the peace, joy and love of Jesus Christ. I want to be there, and I want you to join me!
What does it mean to follow Jesus Christ? As his disciples we draw near to the one who has given us everything: life, redemption, eternal life and communion with God and one another. What’s more, we follow the Lord’s example – serving one another – as the primary mode by which share God’s gifts.
A lazy steward is praised by Jesus. Why? Because he worked hard and made sacrifices, reminding us that sometimes we can be more eager about earthly things than eternal ones. May we hustle and work hard for the praise of God in Heaven.
One of the hardest things about the Christian faith is the giving and receiving of a tough message, the kind of message that hits our hearts and requires us to grow as children of God. Whether it’s something that needs to be said or something that needs to be heard, may we call upon the Lord for the courage we need to let the message of Jesus Christ speak to our souls.
While there are many priorities that can seek out attention, the Lord reminds us today that eternal life is greater than all others. With this thought in mind may we keep our eyes fixed on Heaven as we strive to live each day with this final destination before our eyes.