Acts 7:51-8:1 Reflection:
In recent times we have seen the killing of the Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya and this weekend we had the killing of the Ethiopian Christians in the same land. Both groups of men were martyred by this group called ISIS. One of the most beautiful things I have heard in recent times is the fact that as these men were killed they could be seen calling on the name of Jesus just before they died.
Martyrdom is nothing new. In today’s reading we have an account of the first martyr, Stephen, and how he bore witness to Jesus as he died. What is also very interesting is the mention of the young man Saul, who ‘entirely approved of the killing.’
Why do people hate Christians so much?
The reason is very simple; Christ and Christianity show up the evil in this world. If you look at the hatred that the secularists have for the church you will get some idea of what I am talking about. The secularist wants to be able to decide what to do for themselves whereas the Christian knows that the Law of God is what we should follow, although many of us find that hard.
When you have someone who lives a life that directly points out that your life is wrong, what else will you do but hate them. Stephen, we are told, saw the glory of God, and this removed all fear from him. We can be sure that as these modern martyrs died, God was with them and gave them the grace of consolation.
You never know, perhaps there was a Saul among those who watched the proceedings!