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).
Lately, I’ve been watching lots of action and adventure movies, particularly Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Marvel movies. And every time, without fail, I’m always convinced that all hope is lost, the world is destroyed, and we are all going to die. Overdramatic, I know, but I fall for it every time - hook, line, and sinker. But of course, in the end, someone always finds the missing piece to save to the universe just in the knick of time.
We read at the beginning of the story in today's reading that King Herod was harming members of the Church and even had James killed, which was said to be pleasing to the Jews, so then King Herod goes on to arrest Peter, intending to have him killed as well, in a few days time, to continue to win favor with the Jews. But then things do not quite go according to plan.
In this miraculous encounter with the angel of the Lord, who breaks Peter out of prison, we see the Lord setting in motion an incredible plan. I imagine leading up to this moment, the members of the Church were feeling pretty lost and scared once Peter was arrested. He was the leader of the Church, and he was about to be killed. Yet we read that they did not give up hope and continued to pray fervently for Peter in this time of need.
Similarly, in those moments of life where we see no wait out, the Lord is setting in motion an escape plan with an ending better than any superhero movie. We might seem to be waiting forever for our great rescue moment, but the Lord always shows up precisely at the right time. Peter’s life had a greater purpose. The Lord was saving Peter for even greater work, as we continue to read throughout the Acts of the Apostles.
Each of our lives is meant to be an offering to God until the moment He calls us home. St. Paul touches on this idea in his words to St. Timothy: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.” Your life has a greater purpose too, even if you don’t quite know what it is yet, and the Lord is going to do everything He can to help you get home safely to heaven.
The story of our great rescue has already happened through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. You don’t have to wait for a hero to swoop in at the last minute. The Lord is already with you, waiting for you to reach out for his help, so he can continue to rescue you from sin and lead you to life with Him. He has sent your guardian angel to guide you and watch over you. God is continuing to write your great story, and the work He wants to do in your life is not done yet.
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.
What are the areas of your life where things are currently difficult and you're being called to trust more deeply in God?
How have you seen God work in your life to bring you through situations you were facing?
In the story of your life, what chapter is God writing right now? What has God been doing recently, and how can you continue to let him do that work in and through you?
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.
"You are Savior."
"Your plans are good."
"You are working in my life right now."
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?
If you are a movie person, watch a good (wholesome and appropriate) move that tells a great story today. If you're more into books, spend some time with a good book. Whatever it is, spend some time with a great story and let it remind you that the story God is writing in your life is greater than anything you can read or watch.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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