St. Stephen, the First Martyr and first deacon first to serve the lord with joy.
by Rev Deacon Steven Lloyd SDB
Today, we celebrate St. Stephen, the First Martyr and first deacon first to serve the lord with joy. And I ask myself, why does the church, the day after we celebrate life, with the birth of baby Jesus, do we then remember the death of Stephen?
It’s quite simple, when we think of celebrating St Stephen, we celebrate Christ. We celebrate Jesus and we celebrate the action of complete and dedicated service.
Stephen was a devout man, and he was chosen to be one of the first seven deacons to serve in the distribution of food to the poor of the early Christian community. Important to remember here, that the apostles chose Stephen and six others to help because they knew they couldn’t do all that Jesus asked them to do alone.
So, your role in our church as altar servers is so very significant. You, like St Stephen have called to be ready and available to help us pray! The actions you do every Sunday or Saturday night focus our minds on what Jesus would have done- he would have served those who needed him, he would have been ready to do anything to support- just like All of you - you are all so alert to the nod of deacon Michael, or the guidance of the older servers and you are all so dedicated to each and every duty you have at mass whether acolyte or offertory or torch you all, like St Stephen do what you know is right to do. And for that we are so great full and so proud of you. (Clap) our church is world famous, because of you, no other church I know of- not even a cathedral, has as many dedicated young altars as we do- so, to each and every one of you… thank you thank you thank you!
Also, parents- thank you for allowing your children to serve without you and your help they couldn’t be here, you bring them every week and you pray with them so thank you.
And finally, we must remember St Stephen is also patron of Deacons and we have arguably the best deacon in our parish, a man who truly lives his life like St Stephen totally dedicated to the needs of others and totally dedicated to Christ- so I think we should give thanks also for Deacon Michael .
So, servers, let’s continue to serve the Lord and his church with joy and happiness!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit