STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
“The Catholic Church should get with the times...said every failed Empire for the last 2000 years.”
I love this meme. It appeared on Catholic memes about a year ago, and today’s reading called it to my mind again.
If it were not from God, our Church would not be here today.
Christianity began with 11 guys hiding in a room and a few women who were brave enough to venture to the tomb. From a logical perspective, Christianity should never have left Jerusalem, let alone expanded all around the world. But it did. The men who were hiding began to proclaim the Gospel. Despite the fact that they were being murdered for their faith, more and more people were becoming Christians. How did this happen?
Gamaliel, a Pharisee, cannot explain it better than he did in our reading today: “For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them” (Acts 5:38-39).
Christianity comes from God. That is why the message could not, and would not be stopped. The Church is full of humans, of sinners. But, it is powered by the Holy Spirit. And that is why through all of the different forces that have tried to stop it: wars, scandals, heretics, schism, it is alive, well and thriving around the world.
The Apostles had a mission, a mission from God. And they carried it out. The scripture tells us that, “ all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.” (Acts 5:42).
The Apostles’ mission has become our mission. It is our job to continue to proclaim the Gospel. To teach others about Christ wherever we are whether it is work, school or even in our own homes with our own families. It is not easy to be a witness to the faith. Just ask the Apostles who were martyred. But God is on our side. And when the message comes from God, it can’t be stopped.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
What is my mission?
What is God calling me to do?
How do I live out my mission?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
God is on my side.
I have a mission from God.
Don't stop proclaiming Jesus.
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Today, try to live out your faith in one tangible, public way. You can try saying grace at school or at a restaurant. Or engage one friend in a conversation about faith. Think about how you can spread your faith wherever you are.
LOCK SCREEN GRAPHIC
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior.