During Easter, a season of joy, we read about martyrs like Stephen. This is fitting. In Stephen, we see the power of the Holy Spirit at work, and we find a model for us who seek to follow Jesus. We might wonder: can Stephen really be a model for us? Aren’t his heroics a bit beyond us? In one sense, yes; the heroics of Stephen are beyond us—at least, beyond us alone.

But it is Easter, and in this season we meditate on the power of Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection, a power we too have received. We, like Stephen, are given the Holy Spirit, the Spirit which filled Jesus. In this Easter light, what once seemed impossible is now within reach.

If we too are invited and called to live like Stephen—and we each know our weaknesses—then this speaks volumes about the power of God’s grace.

—William Manaker, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.