Step #1: Lectio / Read
As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
What are you devoted to?
In today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles, apostles are struggling with all of the things they are responsible for. Like some of us may have, the apostles were faced with a situation where they had more responsibilities than they had time for. Unlike us, though, they made a decision to give away some of that responsibility and have others help them with these tasks.
In verse 2, the apostles realize that, as important as serving the poor and needy is, their primary role has to be to preach the Word of God to the people. Rather than neglect one thing in order to allow the other thing to happen, the apostles pick seven men who are reputable, and are "filled with the Spirit and wisdom," to be ordained as the first Deacons. These men will be the ones who aid the apostles, the early Bishops of the Church, in taking care of the people, so that the Bishops can focus on the Gospel.
When St. Paul was writing to the Romans, he said that he was not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is "the Power of God to salvation." The apostles in the time of the Acts of the Apostles clearly understood this; they knew that, among all of their tasks and their responsibilities, the primary one was the preaching of the Gospel. Knowing how important it was the share the Gospel, the very Good News of Salvation, the Apostles take steps to be sure they can devote themselves to this primary mission of the Church to evangelize and spread the name of Jesus.
How often are we clear about what it is we're devoted to? Among all of the things we have going on - clubs, activities, friendships, commitments, work, etc. - which ones take priority? Are we clear with ourselves - and with God and those around us - about what matters the most and what steps we're willing to take to show our devotion?
The Apostles, the leaders of the early Church, knew what God was calling them to first and foremost and they gave all of their time to that. By their example, we can see that the way that we spend our time and the way that we use our energy shows a lot about what matters to us. In our prayer today, let's reflect on how we spend our time, and what that reveals about where our heart is.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
"We shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
What are the things in my life that I am devoted to? Which of them is the most important to me?
How am I spending my time today?
What is God asking me to devote myself to? What steps can I take to focus on that?
Step #4: Contemplation / contemplate
"Jesus, I am devoted to you."
"Lord, I give you my time today."
Come, Holy Spirit.
For the rest of your day...
Notice what you're devoted to, what you give your time to. Focus on devoting yourself to what God is calling you to.
LOCK SCREEN GRAPHIC
Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Theobald.