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).
My first read of today’s first reading had me thinking that the readings today were a little boring. Okay, so Paul’s telling them the shortened version of the bible. Doesn’t seem all that exciting, really. At least, not compared with most of the other stuff that happens in the Acts of the Apostles.
But on my second read, I was struck at the confidence with which Paul speaks as he reminds the Jews about their history--his history. He didn’t have to think hard or look at the scriptures for a refresher on his history. He knew it in his heart of hearts -- knew how it was that God had worked throughout the ages to save and set him free.
It got me thinking. How familiar am I, really, with my own history when it comes to the Lord’s salvation in my own life? Sure, I know the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. But do I know in my heart of hearts how that story matters for me, for my own life?
Knowing our history is important. I can remember projects in elementary school where I had to do a geneology or heritage project. I’m always curious to ask my grandparents questions about our ancestors, our history. I see ads for geneology tests all the time. So if knowing our family history is so important, why don’t we place a greater emphasis on knowing our personal salvation history?
In my own life, I often find that it’s the same mistakes and the same lies I believe about myself and the Lord that I fall into over and over again. And reading the first reading today, I can’t help but wonder if that’s because I don’t pay enough attention to the history of how Jesus has worked in my life until now. If someone asked me to give an account (either long or short, like in today’s reading) of how Jesus has worked throughout the history of my life to show me that He loves me, I’m not sure I could give one. But it’s by looking back on the things we’ve gone through in life (the good and the bad) and seeking to know how Jesus walked with us in those things that we can come to know two things: first, how Jesus has been working to love us throughout our entire lives, and second, to see how it is that He moves in our lives and speaks to us so that we can have better ears to listen in the future.
So take some time today to reflect on your history with the Lord -- how you’ve come to know Him, how He’s moved in your life, where it’s hard to see Him. Seek His help to open your eyes to where He is and where He’s been. Always be ready to call upon the power of that history in your life.
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.
How well do you know your history with God? How has Christ been working in your life to get you to the place where you are right now?
What has been a pivotal moment in your relationship with God that changed your life?
How is Christ calling you to grow today? How is He working in your life now?
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.
"Thank You, Lord."
"I need You."
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?
Take time today to reflect on your history with the Lord. Journal about how you’ve come to know Him, how He’s moved in your life, where it’s hard to see Him. In prayer, look back at all the things that have happened in your life that have brought you to where you are today and see how God was working in and through you. Then say a prayer of thanksgiving for your history with God.
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 Catie Destatte, a Saint Paul's Outreach Missionary at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.