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).
What does it look like to be a Christian? The Resurrection happened, the Holy Spirit descended, but now what?
We learn how to be, by looking to those who came before us. I think we don't often enough turn back to our own stories, our own story of how we began to live in relationship with Jesus. Take a moment before you keep reading; if you were asked to share a few minute witness about what brought you to the faith in a real way- what would you say?
As you recall your story, it may be you sneaking off into the silence with Jesus despite all the bad examples around you...but more likely your witness is packed with a few incredible witnesses. Many of us can call to mind in gratitude some personal Christian heroes, who lived in authenticity, generosity, and strength. They chose to give themselves to the Lord, and in their choice you, too, have been shown a way by which you could begin to dig deeper with the Lord. These may be your parents, grandparents, teachers, dare I hope even your priests. However, as members of the family that is the Body of Christ, we have some even older ancestors in the faith who we can look to as we strive to live Christianity to its fullness.
That brings me to a few of my personal heroes. For me, if Christianity is true, we have to give a resounding yes in every act of faith. Today is the feast day of St. Louis de Montfort who had incredible devotion to our Lady; he wrote some of the most compelling work about our Mother, founded in the rich Scriptural history of our Lady. If we think about it though, what was one of the greatest witnesses to faith Mary gave us? She said yes. Despite fear, she did not reject what God was offering her- which by her yes the world was graced with the God man who gave His life up for us. She could've questioned how this would hurt her in the long run, but she didn't worry about herself. She just said yes.
Today we read an account of St. Stephen, a deacon and the first martyr, another example of true Christianity. The dude was hardcore, preaching the truth with a fire only the Holy Spirit could've brought. Stephen saw the writing on the wall; he was going to be killed if he kept preaching the truth of Jesus Christ. In that moment, he just said yes. If I have to die in order to live out the faith the way I'm being asked, then 'Lord, receive my Spirit'. Stephen could've backtracked, lied, skirted the line, but instead he freely gave his yes to the will of the Father.
Just say yes. Our mentors, our saint heroes, our Blessed Mother, all knew that the Father's will is always, without exception, worth our resounding yes. The yes of our Mother, and Saint Stephen shows us what this whole Christianity thing is about. The Faith is freely accepting all the Lord has for us, trusting that He is going to take care of us.
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.
What does my story look like? How has God worked in my life before and how have I responded?
What are the things in my life to which I easily say yes? School, sports, time on my phone or with friends, bingeing Netflix? What are the things to which I say yes with difficulty?
How is God calling me to respond to him with my yes today? What does that look like?
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.
"Help me say yes to You."
"Give me the strength to follow You."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Smartphone Lock Screen
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 Fr. Robert Blood, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.