Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors.” (Acts 7:51.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed during today’s Mass:

“Therefore when he sent the Holy Spirit, he manifested him visibly in two ways, as a dove and as fire; as a dove upon the baptized Lord, as fire upon the assembled disciples. Here we saw a dove upon the Lord; there parted tongues upon the assembled disciples; in the one, simplicity is shown, in the other, fervor. For there are those who are said to be simple, and they are indolent; they are called simple, but they are lazy. Not such a one was Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit. He was simple, because he harmed no one; he was fervent, because he reproached the impious. For he did not keep silence before the Jews; his are those fiery words, “Stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you have always resisted the Holy Spirit.” Great vehemence! He rages, but as a dove without bile. For, in order that you may know that he raged without bile, they who were ravens, when they heard these words, immediately ran for stones [to use] against the dove. Stephen began to be stoned; and he, who but a little before was raging and boiling spirit, as if he had attacked his enemies, and as if he had assailed them with violence by those fiery and blazing words as you have heard, “Stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,” so that he who heard these words might think that Stephen, if he were allowed, wished them immediately annihilated—when the rocks were coming on him from their hands, on his knees he said, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” He adhered to the unity of the dove. For earlier his master, on whom the dove descended, had done that; hanging on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Tractates on the Gospel of John)

O God,
Who open wide the gates of the heavenly Kingdom
to those reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,
pour out on your servants
an increase of the grace you have bestowed,
that, having been purged of all sins,
they may lack nothing
that in your kindness you have promised.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the
unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen