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The Struggle Begins

Feast of St. Stephen, First Martyr

My dear encountered couples:

I always wonder why the Church authorities give us these kind of Scripture readings the day after Christmas. They certainly are not cheerful ones. Stephen is stoned to death and Jesus talks about being dragged into court in the midst of family disputes. But then life can be like that. Even at Christmas time we hear of family arguments and even killings. The coming of Christ doesn’t put an end to such things.

Maybe that is to be a warning to us. The closer we get to Christ, the more we let him come into our lives, the greater the fight the powers of evil put up. We usually call those powers: Devils. When Christ came Satan saw his reign on earth was entering its last days. And he really began to flex his muscles. He even tried to get Christ to change over to his side. He tempted him to do hell’s will and reject heaven’s. But Jesus was too much for him. Satan didn’t give up, though. He harassed the early Church as much as he could. He riled up the people, even the young Saul (Paul) to stone Stephen, who became our first martyr.

You can be sure you are on Satan’s list. Since you are one who celebrates the real meaning of Christmas, since you are one who wants to live according to the teachings of Christ, you can expect Satan and his bunch to give you a hard time. They will try to persuade you to think their way. Temptations and pressures will be exerted upon you. Jesus said we can overcome them. We are to trust in God, rely on the Holy Spirit, and all will turn out well. Keep celebrating Christmas, keep living its meaning, and tell the devil where he can go. God has come, and he is with you.

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