Acts: This reading brings to a close both Stephen’s sermon and his life. Stephen is regarded as the Church’s first martyr and his life and death are remembered by the Church on the day after Christmas. Stephen accuses his accusers as being just as “stiff-necked” and “uncircumcised” both in heart and ears as were their fathers. As if to make his point, these Jewish leaders cover their ears so as not to hear (heresy) the truth of Stephen’s words. Like Jesus, Stephen was taken out of Jerusalem for execution.