STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Over the weekend, I got into a deep conversation with a friend over what makes a saint. It was one of those late night, pondering, let’s have a theological discussion even though we are way too tired for this right now conversations. His point was that if we’re trying to be saints, we can’t lose our focus on God. We can’t try to be saints for the glory, or so that everyone knows our names. In fact, if we only serve God so that others know who we are, we would be committing a sin of pride because we are too focused on ourselves and not on God. And that is not saintlike at all. Instead we need to be trying to actively serve God’s will in our life. And while striving for sainthood or to be with God in heaven is a goal we all should have, we can’t let a false notion of that get in the way of us actually becoming saints.
Today’s reading called to mind that conversation. Some of the most important people in the history of Christianity are in today’s reading from Acts, and we don’t even know their names. They have no glory, no remembrance, but they changed the world.
This reading is where there is a shift, a big one, that changed the fate of Christianity. But if you don’t pay attention, you could miss it. This is the first time that the story of salvation that God loves us, but sin destroyed our relationship with Him and Christ came to restore that relationship is heard by someone who is not Jewish. The disciples, after the death of St. Stephen, broaden their mission. They whose names we do not know, go off to Greece and begin proclaiming God there. The scripture says, “The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.”
The reading ends by proclaiming that these were the people who were first called Christians.
These men or women who spread the Gospel, we don’t know their names. We don’t know if they were short or tall. We don’t know how old they were. What we do know is that they made a difference in history. They might not be famous, but their legacy is still standing today. There are Christians all over the world, because they had the courage to share the message in some place new.
Today, I think it is easy to get caught up for the desire of fame, even if we want fame for spreading the Gospel or for helping someone, or creating a difference. But fame is not what should drive us. Instead, it should be that desire to do God’s will. Even when that means going out of our comfort zone to some place new. Even when it means talking about Jesus in a place you normally wouldn’t. Even when it means being open to whatever God has in store.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
What does God want for me?
How am I called to serve God?
When I serve God is the focus on me? Or on Him?
Do I want fame or to build God a legacy?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord."
"The disciples were first called Christians."
God, help me be a saint.
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Look for opportunities to get out of your comfort zone and to serve the Lord.
LOCK SCREEN GRAPHIC
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior.