‘As they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep’.

St Stephen died, full of forgiveness for those who were stoning him to death. In this he followed his Lord. May we too live out this spirit of forgiveness and, as the Christmas mystery unfolds to us its riches, pray for all who find forgiveness difficult or impossible. May God bless you this day.