Matthew: Today the Church celebrates the life of Stephen deacon and first martyr of the faith. Jesus, shortly before His own death talks of the martyrs yet to come. As it happens, Jesus also speaks of the death of Zechariah, the very prophet we considered only yesterday. So Stephen became the first in a long line of martyrs (i.e., witnesses) still “giving it up” for Jesus Both Stephen and Zechariah were dispatched by means of stoning.
Gospel: Matthew 23:34-39
Old Testament: 1 Kings 19:9-18