Monday of the Third Week of Easter


“The Greek word Stephen means “crowned” in Latin. In a very beautiful way he anticipated by the portent in his name what he was about to experience in reality—“abjectly stoned but crowned on high.” In Hebrew, however, his name means “your norm.” Whose norm, if not that of the subsequent martyrs, for whom, by being the first to suffer, he became the model of dying for Christ?”1

“Before Stephen begins his defense, the Sanhedrin members all looked intently at him, as those in the synagogue had looked at Jesus before his inaugural address in Luke 4:20. Paul uses the same term to refer to the Israelites’ looking at the radiant face of Moses (2 Cor 3:7, 13). Here God’s intervention on Stephen’s behalf is revealed in that his face was like the face of an angel. That is, his face was shining, as angelic “faces” were perceived to be. Stephen’s radiant face recalls Moses after he came down from Mount Sinai (Exod 34:29–30) and Jesus as he spoke with Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration (Luke 9:29–31). As Moses’ face shone after seeing God, Stephen’s face shone on seeing the glorified Son of Man (see Acts 7:55–56).”2

“”To “take no thought” does not mean “not to work”5 but “not to be nailed to the things of this life.” In other words, do not worry about tomorrow’s comfort; in fact, consider it superfluous. There are those who do no work and yet lay up treasures for tomorrow. There are also others who do work and yet are careful for nothing. Carefulness and work are not the same thing. People do not work because they trust in their work but so that they may give to the person who is in need.”3

“It is as if he said, “You seek me to satisfy the flesh, not the Spirit.” How many seek Jesus for no other objective than to get some kind of temporal benefit! One has a business that has run into problems, and he seeks the intercession of the clergy; another is oppressed by someone more powerful than himself, and he flies to the church. Another desires intervention with someone over whom he has little influence. One person wants this, and another person wants that. The church is filled with these kinds of people! Jesus is scarcely sought after for his own sake.… Here too he says, you seek me for something else; seek me for my own sake. He insinuates the truth that he himself is that food … “that endures to eternal life.”4

“Why do you make ready your teeth and stomach? Believe, and you have eaten. Faith is, indeed, distinguished from works, as the apostle says, “that a person is justified by faith without works.”13 And there are works that seem to be good … because they are not referred to that end from which they are good. “For the end of the law is Christ, unto justice to everyone who believes.”14 Therefore, he did not wish to separate faith from work, but he said that faith itself is a work. For this is the faith that works by love.15 He did not say, “This is your work” but “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent,” so that he who takes glory may take glory in the Lord.”5


  1. Bede, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 6.8.
  2. The Book of Acts, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture
  3. Chrysostom, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 44.1
  4. Augustine, TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 25.10. Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2006). John 1–10 (p. 222). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  5. Augustine, TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 25.12.1–2. Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2006). John 1–10 (p. 223). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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