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).
As we continue through the Acts of Apostles in this Easter season, we come upon the work of Philip the deacon (not to be confused with Philip the Apostle). A newly made deacon, he had been preaching to the masses in Samaria when he was called by God to bring the good news of Jesus to a single man, the Ethiopian eunuch.
As a eunuch, this man would not have been able to be circumcised to become a fully member of the Jewish faith. That doesn’t stop him, of course, from worshipping God in Jerusalem and reading the Hebrew scriptures. I am always inspired by those who seek truth wherever they can find it and approach that task humbly.
Directed by an angel, Philip approaches the eunuch and recognizes that he is reading about Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. In the time of Isaiah and for the Israelites, this wouldn’t have been a reference to Jesus, but would have been interpreted perhaps as some messianic figure or even Israel herself. In his private study, the eunuch learned that the prophets speak in different ways about different persons, telling us that he has a very thoughtful mind. He recognizes the fact the Scripture does not interpret itself, but needs the aid of some lens, some key to understand its fullness.
Philip knows he has THE key, Jesus Christ, but notice how unassumingly he addresses the eunuch. He doesn’t tell him “I have all the answers”, but he recognizes the eunuch’s desire for truth. This is important for us as evangelizers, that we learn to see the search in others and not bulldoze it with knowledge. Even better is the eunuch’s confession of ignorance that opens himself up for learning. Truly, he who seeks shall find.
It’s then that Philip opens up the Scriptures and preaches the good news of Jesus in the light of all of salvation history. Not only that, but the eunuch can now begin to see his entire life in the light of Christ. This is so essential for all of us, and something that we often do a poor job of. It can be easy to go through and see things that happen to us just as they seem to be or even in a negative light. We read life like the eunuch read Isaiah – desiring truth but without the right tools.
On this side of the Resurrection, we have the ability to seeing everything anew in the person of Jesus Christ, finding where he is at work in our life. It takes admitting ignorance while seeking, and usually requires the help of another. However, being able to identify Jesus’ action in our daily lives is what leads us to greater faith, hope, love, and, like the eunuch being baptized, ultimately salvation. When we have this ability to apprehend, nothing can prevent us from fullness of life in Jesus himself.
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.
In what ways are you seeking truth in humility? What questions do you have that you are seeking answers for or struggling to understand?
How often do you identify Jesus' action in your daily life? Do you ask for his help in finding truth?
How have you seen Jesus calling you to grow in faith, hope and love throughout this time of quarantine?
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.
"Lord, I trust you."
"Help me to understand."
"Lead me closer to 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?
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 Kevin Gregus, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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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