STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
If you listen closely at the end of Mass, you’ll hear something pretty interesting. After the final blessing, the priest says something like “the Mass has ended, go in peace”, and all the people respond “Thanks be to God”. As a kid, I always interpreted it as everyone subtly agreeing “Praise God that’s over, let’s get out before the parking lot turns into a mess” And I was totally right there with them, already thinking about which donut I would choose.
The funny part is, I was only kinda-wrong.
What’re we really saying? Ultimately, the Church is still kind-of kicking us out. It’s sending us off into the world, giving us best gift we could ever imagine and telling us to share it. To an extroverted “people-are-fantastic-and-I-want-to-be-friends-with-everyone” kind of person like me, I put no second thought into any of this. But it makes sense that this comes off as weird; it’s rare that the Church would rather have us out in the world than praying (not counting any moments of prayer right after Mass). Unfortunately, we often forget that spending time with people can be just as important as prayer.
That’s something we see in today’s reading too. Paul and the disciples were looking for “a place of prayer” on the Sabbath, implying pretty clearly that they wanted to go pray. However they ended up talking with and listening to a group of women that were there, leading to the conversion of an entire household, and ultimately a safe place to stay for the night.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what we’re doing, so focused on the task at hand that we miss what’s going on around us. I personally find myself in the mindset of “it’s fine, this is more important. I need to do this, this, and this first.” It’s clear in today’s reading that God didn’t want the disciples off praying at that time; He wanted them listening and ministering to these women, even if that plan wasn’t immediately clear. If the disciples had blown these women off, dismissed them for “more important” things, they would have missed out on the conversion of a household, baptisms, and ultimately, bringing comfort and happiness to more people.
God put certain people around you today; are you noticing them? What you’re doing is certainly important, but I guarantee you, there are people around you who could use the smallest gesture of kindness, maybe even a full conversation. Take time for others today, and do everything in God’s time.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
What little things can I do today, even for total strangers, to be "love" to them?
What things might I be spending too much time on, causing me to miss out on what's ahead of me?
Where are you calling me to be in Your time?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"We spent some time in that city."
"All in God's time."
"Let Your will be done, Lord."
"Go in peace."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Take 5 minutes today to do something you wouldn't usually do for someone. Start a conversation with someone at school, clean up a mess someone left behind, etc. Don't worry too much about it, let God show you what He wants.
LOCK SCREEN GRAPHIC
Today's prayer was prepared by Tatiana Schaffer.