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).
I have always been fascinated by one of the lines in this reading on the Feast of St. Stephen, the "proto-martyr" or first martyr of the Church.
"But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together."
The reading doesn't include it, but before they do this, St. Stephen gives a long speech about Jesus; He basically preaches the Gospel to them. Then, he says that he sees Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father. I have always been fascinated by their response: to cover their ears and cry out in a loud voice.
Did you ever have a younger sibling cover their ears to avoid listening to something you were saying? I had four younger siblings and they would always do that and it would drive me crazy. They'd say, "I'm not listening, I'm not listening," with their hands over their ears to drown out my voice. It was infuriating!
The only reason I can think that they would cover their ears and cry out loudly is because something deep in their hearts, their consciences, is actually moved by what Stephen is saying, but they want to drown it out, ignore it.
It's possible that you have some people in your life that you've been either trying to challenge morally, or just evangelize by telling them about Christ, and they just won't hear it. They might even be in your family. . . sometimes it can be frustrating to feel like you have really spoken truth.
Ultimately, each of us is responsible for how we receive the Word into our hearts. It may be that whoever you are trying to talk to about the faith is just not ready to hear it, and that is okay. You have done your part by trying to speak to them about Christ and your job now may be just to pray for them and wait for a softening of their heart. Every human person is free to choose if they will follow the Lord or not. It is not your job to fix or change anyone, you just need to love them as best as possible!
We ourselves need to avoid "covering our ears" to the voice of the Lord as well. Do we turn away from our heart, the place where God speaks to us, because we want to do what we want? There is a lesson for us as well in this passage, then, maybe.
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 you ever cover your ears with the Gospel? What do you want to block out, why?
Why must we listen and receive the Gospel?
Who are you being called to share the Gospel with?
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 want to listen."
"Let me receive the Gospel."
"Preach the Gospel."
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?
Who can you share the Gospel with today? Ask for strength, like St. Stephen to share in a loving way, even if you are scared of how the person will respond.
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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 Tim Glemkowski.