27 Mon Apr 2009
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, â€œWe have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.â€ They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, â€œThis man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.â€ And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peterâ€™s brother, said to Jesus, â€œThere is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?â€ Jesus said, â€œMake the people sit down.â€ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, â€œGather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.â€ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, â€œThis is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.â€
When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.