What Being Christian Means
Stephen's martyrdom is very unsettling. He is the first martyr. Read Acts 7: 54-60. Stephen's death prefigures what being Christian means. Christians will be persecuted. The next passage after describing Stephen's death, Acts 8: 1-3 relates the persecution of the followers of Jesus.
Following Jesus meant and still means, persecution. Today, the persecution of the Christians in the Middle East comes to mind. In my personal surrounding world, being Christian means being counter- cultural. There is an insidious feeling of not being accepted, of being a religious nut, or some other kind of crack-pot. My opinions are irrelevant because the majority opinion rules.
We should have known this from what happened to St. Stephen. He is the precursor of today's martyrs. Stand fast, my brothers and sisters. A crown of glory awaits you at the end of your journey.