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).
I love J.R.R. Tolkien’s story the Lord of the Rings. One of the most powerful features of this series is the theme of friendship, especially highlighted in the friendship between Sam and Frodo. Frodo’s great mission and task of being the ring bearer is really too much for him. There are a myriad of moments when Frodo is tempted to give up, to despair, or sometimes he himself would have failed, except for his companion Sam. Sam gave to Frodo the gift of his friendship, and with it, hope, wisdom encouragement and even success. Sam couldn’t complete the task Frodo was given, but without Sam it is certain that Frodo would have failed.
Today is the feast day of St. Luke. We hear Paul, in today’s reading, make reference to Luke as being a faithful and steadfast friend for Paul, especially in the face of Paul’s mission of spreading the Gospel. Paul writes that while others have left him, “Luke is the only one with me.” Luke seems to be a little like Sam, and Paul like Frodo. Luke offers to Paul that gift of his friendship that helps Paul complete his mission in the face of loneliness, struggle, doubt, and trial. We owe a great debt to Luke for his writing of the book of Acts and his gospel, but we should never forget Luke’s enduring value as a steadfast friend in the life of St. Paul.
It is a great mystery, in our Christian life, that we are sent out on mission with the Lord. Our mission, no matter what it is, is too much for us to do alone. Yet, God doesn’t send us out alone, but invites friends into our life to help us along the way and calls us to be faithful friends for other people’s missions as well. Sometimes these are friendships that last a lifetime – like Paul and Luke – sometimes there are friendships that are momentary, but are enough to help us keep going – like Simon of Cyrene and Veronica with Jesus during his Passion. Today’s feast invites us to reflect on the gift of friendship in our life, especially in regard to our Christian mission. How has the Lord put friends into our life that have blessed us and encouraged us to keep going in his service? How have we been a friend to others, encouraging them? Lastly, where might the Lord be inviting us to be a St. Luke now in the life of those around us?
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 you have friends in your life that can go out on mission with?
Are you prepared to go out on the Mission God is sending you on? Have you even considered that doing this together would be easier?
What can you do to find faith-filled friends to go on mission with?
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.
"Here I am Lord."
"I want to share your love."
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?
Reflect on the friendships you have. Which ones are rooted in faith? Who's 'on your team' that you can take on mission?
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Today’s prayer was prepared by Jon Polce, SJ.
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