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).
Back in January, I started a “Chapter a Day Challenge” with some friends online to read a chapter of the Scriptures every day. When she was a kid, her dad used to say “A chapter a day keeps the devil away.” I thought, “well, I want the devil to stay away, so I’ll give this a go.” We started with Proverbs, then read through the 4 Gospels, and beginning May 1st we ventured into Acts. (Romans is next.)
So throughout the season of Easter, I’ve been reading a chapter of Acts each day, and it has begun to coincide with the daily readings from Acts, more or less. Each day, as I dive into the formation of the early Church, I can’t help but think that the problems they had are similar to the ones we’re having today.
Today’s reading is about circumcision, no one’s favorite topic. But the point is more than some “followers of The Way” believe it to be “absolutely essential for salvation” while others just don’t. Who’s right?
Although in the Catholic Church today we don’t equate circumcision with a requirement for salvation, we have similar conversations about other, just as innocuous, topics.
What makes you “good enough” to be called a Catholic? Are you kneeling the whole time during the consecration or resting your bottom on the edge of your pew? Do you receive communion on the tongue, in the hand, kneeling, standing, after a bow, or following a genuflection? Are you praying enough Rosaries? Reading enough Scripture? Interceding with enough Saints? Have you fasted enough days this week? Was your Lenten fast ‘hard enough’? Do you show up for Mass 2 minutes early or 15 minutes early? Do you wear a veil? Are you dressed ‘nice enough’ for Mass?
As you read through that list it feels pretty petty, I’m sure. As I was writing it, I thought, “Those are such silly things.” But the truth of it is, I hear these conversations all the time. And those are just the questions about particular devotions.
What strikes me most about this reading from Acts is that these fights have been happening since the beginning of the Church. And also that they take away from the actual important work of “sharing the Good News and making disciples” that we are called to do.
We’re caught up in what this person looks like, not if they’ve had an encounter with Christ and are working on their relationship with Him through the Sacraments and prayer. Let’s get back to what really matters in our faith. Focus on Christ. Go where He’s leading you. Find a way to share that Good News with others.
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 I struggle to feel "good enough" to be called a Catholic? Why or why not?
What are some of the struggles I have seen other people face in being Catholic?
How will I focus more on sharing the Good News and making disciples?
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.
"Focus on Christ."
"I will follow you."
"Share the Good News."
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?
Find a way to share the Good News with someone today. Don't focus on whether or not they look like or talk like your "typical" Christian.
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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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