ST. Luke tells the story of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first martyr or protomartyr as the old Latins put it, to connect his death with that of Jesus. Like Our Lord Stephen commends himself into the hands of the Heavenly Father. Like Our Lord he forgives his enemies. The message is that the life of Jesus is not merely for our admiration but for our imitation. As Jesus lived, so should we live. One concrete way we might imitate Jesus (and Stephen!) is by forgiving. In our prayer today let us look at old wounds and pray for the gift of a forgiving heart.