STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra
where there was a disciple named Timothy,
the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,
but his father was a Greek.
The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
and Paul wanted him to come along with him.
On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they traveled from city to city,
they handed on to the people for observance the decisions
reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.
Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith
and increased in number.
They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory
because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit
from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them,
so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once,
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.
ACTS 16: 1-10
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Let's set the stage. The Church is a person. In fact, as Catholic Christians we refer to the Church as a "she" because She is the bride of Christ. She was born from the side of Christ as Eve was born from the side of Adam. And we celebrate Her birthday on Pentecost, that infamous day when the Holy Spirit came upon those in the Upper Room. She wasn't always as big as she is, having over a billion members but at one time, she was new to the world. She was an infant. And what do infants need in order to grow both in mind and body? They need food, they need shelter, amongst many other things they need someone to care for them and lead them to adulthood. Think about infancy- we can't remember much if any of it but we received food and shelter and care from those who loved us. We also received direction- "don't touch fire" and although we may not have listened, we learned and grew in belief. Then as a child we started to trust our parents more because we recognized that they had experience. So unless we were completely rebellious, we believed in what they taught us. The same goes for our teachers and coaches.
The Church at the time of St. Paul and the other apostles were very much like us in our infancy. This is why they met in Jerusalem to make decisions for observance. It was these decisions that the Apostles handed on AND what united the Church as a church! When persons are united, they are stronger. The new Christians believed everything that was passed down to them, not in blind obedience, but because they experienced the power of Christ in their lives and they knew that they needed direction. So it is with us today. We need the Church because see has seen over 2,000 years of history. And just as we trust our parents, coaches, and teachers because they have experience, the Church gives us security that what She teaches as true is true. And when She says "don't touch fire because you will get burned" we can believe that She is telling the truth. What is the alternative? We touch the fire and get burned. Then we realize that the Church has our best interests in mind. So let's make a deal. Let's start trusting the Person who has survived the rise and fall of empires, nations, and societies that promoted no God, no morals, and do what makes you feel good attitude. Because when we do, we too will grow stronger in faith and have courage to preach the Gospel to all people.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
Lord, what ways are you inviting me to grow within the Church?
Lord, How can I grow in trust of your Church?
Lord, how does this passage apply to my life?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
Jesus, nurture me within your Church.
Jesus, teach me to love your Church.
Jesus, help me to grow in faith.
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Thank God for the gift of the Church.
LOCK SCREEN GRAPHIC
Today's prayer was prepared by Deacon Sean Grismer, seminarian for the Diocese of Rockford.