Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
People talk - a lot. And in this time of lock-down/quarantine/social-distancing, talking has become more valuable than ever. But, we need to ask ourselves if what we say matters. I don’t say this to mean that talk is cheap… quite the opposite actually. I really believe that if we mean what we say, then what we say can truly change us and others.
Today, we see a small piece of the story of St. Stephen, the first person to die for Jesus, the first martyr. Because Stephen was spreading the good news about Jesus, those who had Jesus killed were incredibly scared of him. They tried to make up a false narrative like they did with Jesus, they tried to twist his words and make him seem like an evil and dangerous man. The problem for them was that every word that St. Stephen spoke mattered. He became transformed by the Word of God that he shared, that the scripture says, “all those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”
Stephen became more holy because of his simplicity of action and word. He meant what he said, and his actions backed that up. He was honest and pure with his words and intentions. He was not hiding anything or holding back; he was completely transparent. So transparent that they could actually see God in him.
We live in a society that loves to fake transparency. We love to show certain wounds that we are in control of so we seem vulnerable and honest, when really we are hiding such bigger and deeper wounds in our lives. I am not saying that we need to go tell everyone every detail of our lives, that would be imprudent and unchaste to be honest. But what I am saying is to let our words and our actions finally match up. Be honest. Be real. Be authentic. That is how people will see God in you. So today, try to purify your motives and be sincere. Let your words and actions say the same thing, and let God purify the rest of you through that.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Do your words and actions match up? Why or why not?
Look at your friendships? Which friends call you to holier words and actions? Which friends do not?
Who calls you to the Lord?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Actions and words matter."
"Call me to holiness."
"Lead me Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.