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).
Today is the memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first citizen born in the United States to be given the title of Saint. She was born Elizabeth Bayley on August 28, 1774 and raised an Episcopalian in New York City. She married William Seton in 1794 and had 5 children. Unfortunately, her life was touched by tragedy when her husband died of tuberculosis while their family was visiting Italy in 1803. However, before returning home, Elizabeth discovered Catholicism and was drawn to it, especially to the True Presence in the Eucharist.
After returning to the States, Elizabeth made the decision to begin Catholic instruction. She lost the support of her Protestant family and friends and endured a couple of very difficult years. She persevered, and entered into the faith in 1805. Still afterwards, she was ostracized and pressured because of her conversion. Eventually, she moved her family to Baltimore and founded St. Joseph’s School for Girls, the beginning of the Catholic school system in America.
Elizabeth went on to found a religious order focused on schools, orphanages and hospitals. She died on this day in 1821, and was canonized a saint by Pope Paul VI in 1975.
There is one excerpt from today’s gospel in which Andrew, after hearing John the Baptist call out Jesus as the “Lamb of God”, goes to find his brother Simon. The gospel than states that Andrew “brought him to Jesus”. I am sure that the same mission drove St. Elizabeth during her life. She constantly strove to bring kids, orphans, the sick, and many others to Jesus through her work. This too is the mission for all of us; to endeavor to bring the people in our lives to Jesus. We can turn to the examples of Andrew, and saints like St. Elizabeth as models within our own missionary calling.
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 you doing to bring people to Jesus?
Do you find the idea of bringing others to Christ intimidating?
In what areas of your life do you need someone's help to be brought to Jesus?
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.
"I desire to share your love with others."
"I am on a mission from you Lord."
"St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for me."
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?
We are four days into 2019, what will you do this year to bring others to Christ? Take a moment, ask the Lord where He wants you, and write down your intention and mission for 2019 to bring others to Christ. Maybe you'll share this reflection on social media, via text, or talk about it with someone. Maybe you'll be more intentional about sharing your faith with others. Maybe there's a particular situation where your faith needs to be shared out loud! Ask the Lord where He wants to walk with you this year!
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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