April 20.   Obed said, “Stephen and the disciples in those very early days of the Church had great courage, verbally attacking the leaders because of their lack of acceptance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. What can we do? I don’t want to risk being arrested for speaking out or being killed for my faith.  I have heard that in our day and age there have been as many or more martyrs than ever before.  Religious extremism and bigotry has not ended has it?”  “Why don’t we pray for an increase in our own faith and a growth in universal solidarity and fraternity.”   

Stephen full of grace and power did great wonders and signs among the people.  Speaking to them, the elders and the scribes he said, “you stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit.” They were enraged,  but he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into 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.”   They cried out and stopped their ears and cast him out of the city and stoned him. Acts 7:51- 8:1. Pope Francis.  For Christians believing in one God who is trinitarian communion suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation.  The reflection of the Trinity was there to be recognized in nature, when that book was open to man and our eyes had not yet become darkened. LS239. At the end of time the Risen One will be mysteriously holding to himself the flowers of the field and the birds which his human eyes contemplated and admired, imbued with his radiant presence.  LS100    Reflect, share, pray, for the courage of your convictions at any time.