You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to. These words are directed not only at Stephen’s auditors then, but his auditor’s today: us. His words sound harsh. But maybe they are true. Because Stephen’s other words are proved right. He says to them that in the past their ancestors killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, and now you have become his betrayers, his murderers. It sounds ridiculous yet his words are proven true: then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him.
Why? What is it that can transform intelligent men into stupid, barbarian rock-throwers, killers? A hardness of heart which becomes a proud intolerance. You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. The idea that I am an expert in what Jesus asks, and I will determine what he asks of me, regardless of what those others in the Church around me say and what he says in his Word. Their hearts are so closed that have built their lives less and less on the Word of God and more and more on their own proud self-centred interpretation and invention of it.
And Stephen makes the same warning to us. To what extent do we resist the Holy Spirit in our daily decision-making, in our understanding of what is good and evil, in reaching out with compassion to those we find irritating and troublesome? Let us abandon our own interpretations and turn once again to the only pure source, the Lord Jesus: I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.