Commentary on the Gospel of
Sincere followers would often wonder what Jesus wants them to do. Jesus’ answer is simple: believe in him as the God-sent. Jesus boiled the whole Christian life down to one simple code: believe in Him. Everything follows from belief. This belief is not simple optimism. It is a graced decision to trust Jesus and take Him at His word. It overflows in love and hope. It is about looking for Jesus for the right reasons – not for material gain. Many people did so. Many do so for prestige, comfort and even for political gain. It doesn’t take great works to please God, but it comes from whom we believe.
The shining face and great courage of Stephen in the first reading springs precisely from his faith in the One that had been sent. He was unmoved in front of scare of death and witnessed to the whole world that he believed in the God-sent Son Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. In both Jesus and Stephen, this faith overflowed in a lifestyle that both irked and baffled the worldly-wise. Is it any wonder that flimsy, trumped up charges were levelled, and that they were condemned to die?