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Trusting Enough to Walk Away

Feast of Saint Stephen

First Reading: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31:3CD-4, 6 AND 8AB, 16BC AND 17

R.  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

NAB

dec 26

As a married convert to the Catholic faith, there was a moment that I had to turn away from what was, and look toward what would be. I knew God was with me then as He always is. How do I know? I can see the snapshots in clear focus of the day when I walked out of my home with my two young sons to attend Mass, turning my back on my then-atheist husband.

I recall getting ready as we argued, putting my children’s socks and shoes on to “Are you really going to just walk out on me?” I remained steadfast. I wanted to be Catholic and I knew in my heart of hearts, that there was nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all whatsoever in wanting that for my children. My husband could either come with me or not, but I had placed a stake in the ground. I am traditional in the sense that I don’t generally disobey my husband. I felt power and strength such as I had never known before when I walked down the stairs, holding my little boys’ hands in mine, the heat of my husband’s stare on our backs.

I cannot believe that before I walked out of the door and into the sunlit morning, that my children did not know God. Looking back, I know He was making Himself known subtly as He wreathed me and my boys in light as I closed the door behind us.

In reading today’s Psalm, I am reminded of these snapshots in time. The moments of my conversion. I never worried what I would say to my husband as I told him I “had” to go to church. My heart was fearful of what would happen when I got back—would we argue, would we divorce? But I held fast to the clarity in my mind and knew that God would provide the words I needed to speak, that everything after Mass would be just that, everything after.

[D]o not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

After a long and winding road, my husband came home on Pentecost 2015. Praise God.

What conflict are you experiencing with those closest to you? Can you hear God’s voice in the midst of it? Take some time to listen and if you need to respond verbally, know that He will give you the words you need to heal and mend the broken threads of your relationships. We need only listen and obey.

Cristina Trinidad is a married, stay-at-home mother of two children. She recently opened an Etsy shop named after Luke 1:38, where she offers inspirational and faith-based hand embroidered designs. You can visit her shop and find out more about her here

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