Step #1: Lectio / read
The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria
was at peace.
She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers.
As Peter was passing through every region,
he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda.
There he found a man named Aeneas,
who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed.
Peter said to him,
“Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.”
He got up at once.
And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him,
and they turned to the Lord.
Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha
(which translated is Dorcas).
She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving.
Now during those days she fell sick and died,
so after washing her, they laid her out in a room upstairs.
Since Lydda was near Joppa,
the disciples, hearing that Peter was there,
sent two men to him with the request,
“Please come to us without delay.”
So Peter got up and went with them.
When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs
where all the widows came to him weeping
and showing him the tunics and cloaks
that Dorcas had made while she was with them.
Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed.
Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.”
She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.
He gave her his hand and raised her up,
and when he had called the holy ones and the widows,
he presented her alive.
This became known all over Joppa,
and many came to believe in the Lord.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
When I read this for the first time, I immediately thought of our dear Lord. Who else raised people from dead other than Him? Peter was working miracles in His name. The power of Jesus is incredible; we can see Him working through the first bishops of the Church: the Apostles! And Peter being the first Pope, raised Dorcas from the dead. Wow, talk about apostolic succession!
John 21:15-17 is the passage where Jesus asks Peter if He loves Him three times. Peter responded saying yes, reaffirming his love for our Lord after he denied Him three times. Our Lord specifically tells him to feed His sheep, and Peter does just that. Peter is ministering to those He encountered, like how he saw Jesus raise Lazarus.
Through our beloved bishops and priests, we can receive the same Holy Spirit that went through the Apostles. We have to trust that the Lord is going to work through all of our messiness, just like He did for Peter.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
"[The Church] was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers."
Jesus, how can I reflect your love like Peter did to those I meet?
How can I bring peace to those I encounter? How about in my own heart?
How can I go about performing the works of mercy in my life?
Say a prayer thanking Jesus for the priests you know and love in your life, and ask God to strengthen them.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"The Church was at peace."
"They turned to the Lord."
"Tabitha, rise up."
"Make me a channel of your peace."
For the Rest of Your Day...
If you encounter a loved one who is stressed today, think of ways you could bring the peace of Christ to their life and to help them "rise" out of their distress.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sarah Lundgren.