STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
ACTS 1: 1-11
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Dear friend of God,
St. Luke opens up the Acts of Apostles by addressing it to Theophilus...However, it proves difficult to place Theophilus as a historical person, but it simply translates from the Greek to “Friend of God”
You are the friend of God.
The Word of God is spoken to you.
Your dearest Friend, Jesus Christ, has done many signs and continually shown you that He truly loves you. Since the beginning of time He has cared for you. Think back to a time you remember encountering Him or His action in your life. Picture His eyes. Think about the closeness of His gaze, and yet the depth that it presents.
Often times when we feel close to Jesus we are able to get lost in the now. We see His hand working in our family, we (hopefully) encounter Him saving our tails during exams, or even in the depth of communion in the Eucharist we are lost in His work in us. We are undeserving of these precious moments but He is a tried and true Friend.
What if I told you that there was more?
If you just walked out of a holy hour and you were on cloud nine, what if Jesus spoke to your heart “You will not feel me for a time, but we will be together again with our Father. You just have to trust, and don’t worry, my Spirit will be coming to take you on to this next place.”
Because we know the story we would assume we’d trust Him…But the apostles, the original friends of God were astounded and amazed at the raising of Jesus to the Father in Heaven. I could imagine they knew the pain of loss. Their dear Friend wasn’t with them in the only way they had known Him. However, they kept walking in faith of His promise.
I don’t know where your heart is now my dear friend…Maybe you feel the closeness of Jesus every day. Maybe you haven’t felt your Friend Jesus in weeks, months, or years. Maybe you’ve never truly felt Him but you trust His promise of happiness. Wherever your heart is in its relationship with Jesus, I tell you there is infinite more to come for you in Love. Allow His presence to you on earth in its many forms to amaze you. Dwell on the Eucharist.
Notice the smile of others. Soak in the beauty of creation. But never forget dear Friend, we are on a journey home, where we too will be raised in astounding manor to the heights of heaven in order to truly live with the Father.
In haste, let us choose to be a friend of Jesus. Let us choose to receive the Love He longs to give us. Let us hold onto the hope that comes from His returning to Heaven, preparing a place for us.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
How have I seen Jesus as my friend?
How have I been a good friend to Jesus?
Where do I struggle to trust that things will be better?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"I am a friend of God."
"There is more to come."
"He prepares a place just for me in Heaven."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Throughout the day think about heaven. What will you feel like? What do you want to hear from the Father?
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Today's prayer prepared by Bobby Blood, seminarian for the Diocese of Rockford.