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, the Lord spoke to St. Paul to give him words of encouragement. The Lord told St. Paul not to be afraid, and reassured him with these words:
“No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
As I prayed over this passage, a couple things struck me about how the Lord guides and protects us.
First, He goes before us. He prepares the way for us. It’s like the Lord is a great commander of an army, and He has already placed troops in the city before you to make it safe for you to enter.
Second, He provides for us by using others. The Lord has confidence that His own disciples will be His hands and feet. The Lord will guide, comfort, and protect you by sending His people to minister to you.
This message of encouragement feels like it came at a really good time. You may or may not be moving to a new city. But we’re all moving further into a time of uncertainty due to the pandemic. How is school going to look? What about our jobs? The economy? Movie theaters? Parish life? Friendships and other relationships? Gyms? Parties? Parks? Sports?
Like moving to a new city, we move into a new future. We are filled with uncertainties. We fear what might happen to us, our friends, and our families.
But today the Lord promises to protect us. He goes before us into a vague and unsettling future to prepare the way for us. He has His disciples ready to minister to us and provide for our needs. In fact, the Lord is probably planning to use YOU to be His hands and feet in the lives of others, too.
As you experience moments of fear and anxiety, rest in His promise that when it comes to the future: He has many people in that “city.”
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.
Are you worried and concerned about this *new city* we're moving in to?
How can you bring your concerns to the Lord and rest in His protection?
What have you experienced in the past that can help you transition to the future with trust in the Lord"
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 am not afraid."
"I walk with you Lord."
"I love you Lord."
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.
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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 Dan Wolff, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinaire in Crystal Lake, IL.
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.
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