Feast of Saint Stephen, First Martyr (Protomartyr)
FIRST READING: Acts 6: 8 - 10; 7: 54 - 59
8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyre'nians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cili'cia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen.
10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him.
55 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;
56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."
57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him.
58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
PSALM: Psalms 31: 3 - 4, 6, 8, 17
3 Yea, thou art my rock and my fortress; for thy name's sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net which is hidden for me, for thou art my refuge.
6 Thou hatest those who pay regard to vain idols; but I trust in the LORD.
8 and hast not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a broad place.
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call on thee; let the wicked be put to shame, let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
GOSPEL: Matthew 10: 17 - 22
17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.