Wednesday, 26 December 2012

St. Stephen's Day : The Holy Father's Message

Pope Benedict's Wednesday Angelus focused on St. Stephen. The following is part of the Holy Father's text: 

On St. Stephen’s Day, we are called to fix our gaze on the Son of God, who in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas we contemplate in the mystery of His Incarnation. In Baptism and Confirmation, with the precious gift of faith nourished by the Sacraments of the Church, especially the Eucharist, Jesus Christ has bound us to Him and wants to continue in us, through the action of the Holy Spirit, his work of salvation that redeems, enhances, elevates and leads all to fulfilment. Allowing ourselves be drawn by Christ, like St. Stephen, means opening our lives to the light that calls, directs and makes us walk the path of good, the path of humanity according to God’s loving plan.

Finally, St. Stephen is a model for all those who want to serve the new evangelization. He shows that the novelty of proclamation does not primarily consist in the use of original methods or techniques, which certainly have their uses, but in being filled with the Holy Spirit and allowing ourselves to be guided by Him. The novelty of proclamation lies in emerging ourselves deeply in the mystery of Christ, the assimilation of His Word and of His presence in the Eucharist, so that He Himself, the living Jesus, can act and speak through His envoy. In essence, the evangelizer becomes able to bring Christ to others effectively when he lives for Christ, when the newness of the Gospel manifests itself in his own life.


Note: "Boxing Day" (or "Box Singh" Day for the multi-culturalists) is generally no longer celebrated. It was an Anglo-Saxon protestant custom, during the Victorian Era,  to show some Christian charity to those who had worked hard throughout the year. Thus, one would give a small gift to the milkman, the postman and so on.  Today, the exploited poor are those who work in retail. It is these poor souls who, at minimum wages, will be slaving away in box stores for the "savings" sought by the greedy, the thoughtless, the cruel. Rather than take them a gift, the exploiters will cause these poor to be at work from the the early hours of dawn, to late into the evening. Show some true Christmas spirit and charity: stay home; better yet - go to Mass, visit the shut-ins...

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