St. Stephen’s feast has been celebrated this day since the earliest centuries of the Church’s life.
We are also in the Octave of Christmas. Octaves are mysterious. For Holy Church time is suspended so that we can rest in the mystery of the feast. In her wisdom, Holy Church “stops” her clock so that we contemplate the mystery of the feast from different angles, through different lenses.
St. Stephen reminds us of the consequences of discipleship. He is usually depicted surrounded by people who are beating him to death with rocks. As I said, there are consequences of discipleship.
Are you ready for consequence in the days remaining to you? Consequences can be more or less dramatic. I think we need to get our heads into mental places wherein we can imagine even dire consequences.
Today I also congratulate all the members of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen! This is a guild of altar boy that started in England. The first chapter ever outside of England was at my home parish of St. Agnes, in St. Paul. In the sacristy there was a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster approving the chapter and each year on this day the new boys were enrolled.