Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 2: Two Turtle Doves

“On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two turtle doves…”

Symbolism:  Today, our two turtle doves represent the two most distinct parts of our Scriptures: the Old and New Testament.

Your Mission:  Today, read a section from each Testament and increase your knowledge of God’s word for us.  Don’t know which passages to choose?  Oh, lucky you, our church already has you covered!  Check out the daily Scripture readings at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website:  Each day has at least a Psalm, a Gospel reading and a New Testament passage.   Here are the readings for today, which have to do with Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr:

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Acts 6.8-10, 7.54-59

Psalm 31:

R.  Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Bonus Points:  Sign up to be on an email list for daily Scriptures and reflections through resources like this one, Our Daily Bread (which has great reflections and is available via email or paper subscription for you purists), or by listening to one of the many priests who offer daily podcasts of their daily Mass Scripture and homilies.  My favorite is the podcast from Father Thomas Weise, a priest in Alaska who is one of my dearest friends as well as a fantastic homilist.  Get free access to his podcasts via his blog here!

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