On The Feast of St. Stephen

The Nativity scene at my parental's church.
The Nativity scene at my parental’s church.

The day after Christmas is the
Feast of St. Stephen,
The very first martyr of the church.

It’s recorded that, as he was sharing the news of Jesus,
The crowd grew agitated and upset
And rushed upon Stephen to kill him.

I went to mass yesterday, so I heard the story.
These words, in particular, stood out about this angry crowd:
“They covered their ears.”

…For the love of all things holy, why?

I picked up a few Advent reflection books this year,
But lost most of them, too, so,
I can’t remember where I read this next thought

But an author along the way (a Jesuit?)
Wrote a reflection about Jesus:
How he came as an infant.

The author said this was so people would feel that He is
And non threatening.

Like this, the author said, we can approach him easier.

It’s interesting how we have these days
Christmas (the 25th) and then the Feast of St. Stephen (the 26th).

They (people more knowledgeable than I) say it’s to serve as a reminder
Of all that the Christ-child entails
Not just Silent Night but, also, witnessing with your final breath.

Maybe if the temptation is to rush about covering-our-ears,
The feast also invites this:
Listen, listen, open your heart and live

With a courage deeply, deeply rooted in love. Just like the tiny baby, squalling in the straw; or a man testifying to life, even as his draws to a close.

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