Sometimes we have the tendency to "take the best and leave the rest." But that is what it means to be in a Church of sinners who have been transformed by Christ. We strive for holiness within the system we live and sometimes that holiness even challenges that system. Sometimes we let the system limit our holiness.
Stephen, while a man of his time, challenged the way a king was made, and how that king related to his subjects. At the same time the violence or political pressure used to cause change offends our modern sensibilities.
The question is are we ignoring the bad in preference to the good? We may never know what it was like to oppose a king, to question his decisions and be punished for it. We may never know what it is like to change everything we know and trust in favor of another's decision.
What we do know though, is a different gauge of leadership, of ruling that Stephen gave to the world. And who knows the effects of the poor that he helped, the generations that were not lost because of his kindness and charity.
We may not be perfect but it is something to be remembered more for our charity than our politics. What will Christ tell each of us as we approach the throne?
Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.
Truth to Ponder
I decided to spend a year thinking about the Faith celebrated in the sanctoral calendar. There are also just some events, Scriptural, and other quotes that strike me on random days; or randomly on days, as the case may be.
Saint's Days by Month
Days by Entry