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).
In today’s first reading we are given the miracle of Tabitha being raised from the dead by the apostle Peter. Jesus’ earthly death has already occurred at this point, but “with the consolation of the Holy Spirit,” the church was growing in numbers and miracles were still happening. Through the power of the Spirit, God used human beings close to Jesus as instruments to bring about His miracles. It is a reminder that God can still work miracles through us – even today – and of the important power of the Holy Spirit that we are given by being baptized in Christ.
We also have the power to help drive out negative forces, whether by saying the St. Michael prayer and asking for his intercession against the powers of Hell, or by ordering negative spirits to leave us. I’m not talking big possessed spirits that should be brought to a priest -- but the little negative spirits that tempt and nag us every day. We as disciples of Christ have the authority to say with conviction, “In the name of Jesus I demand the spirit of lust to leave.” Try that next time you are overly tempted to look at pornography. Or the next time you have allowed your crying to spiral into an unrealistic hysteria: “In the name of Jesus, I drive out the spirit of despair.”
And, don’t forget to ask for miracles.
A dear friend of mine from Australia was in town in October when he was diagnosed with an advanced case of the very aggressive and deadly pancreatic cancer. Doctors initially gave him two to five months to live. I wanted to give him something as he headed home to Aussieland, but I wasn’t sure what. Then, in my room I saw a little rosary that had been blessed in the healing waters of Lourdes, France, as well as by now pope emeritus Benedict XVI in 2009. So I gave it to my friend as a parting gift, even though my friend was an atheist.
Once he left I started praying fervently, and begging friends to do the same, asking the Lord for his physical healing and a conversion of faith. I got a message right after we said goodbye for what I was sure was (but hoping wouldn’t be) the last time: “I am carrying my little silver cross with me at all times.”
That was in November.
We kept praying. I started sobbing when got this text from him a few weeks ago. “I had new scans done this week and after my consultation with my doctor he told me the main tumor has shrunk by a little over 50 percent. So no more chemo for the time being so I can try and recover… Then we can see what else I can do … your little cross may have helped.”
Don’t lose sight of the power of Christ that is within you. Now, maybe more than ever, we need to call on the Holy Spirit and ask the Lord to take over in every situation. As the Lord performed great miracles through holy Peter, He will do miracles through us if we stay close and ask them of Him.
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 are places in your life right now where you'd like to ask God for a miracle? If you haven't yet, take some time right now to pray for a miraculous work of God in that situation.
When you have difficult things, do you entrust those situations to God? Whether they're big or small, how often do you give God the space to work in the situations in your life?
Even when things don't turn out as you planned, how do you keep trusting God and praying for his presence and his work in your life?
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.
"You are a miracle worker."
"All things are possible in you, God."
"You are good."
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?
Find a book on a saint that you can read (or listen to) soon. Whether it's a book about St. Francis of Assisi, one about St. Joan of Arc, St. Ignatius of Loyola, or any other saint. The saints give us stories of God working miracles and doing powerful things in the lives of regular people - read about the saints in order to remember that he wants to do amazing things in your life, too.
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 Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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.