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).
I don’t know about you, but I love all of the readings during the Easter Octave! They are so joyful and hopeful! The first readings going through the Act of the Apostles set my heart on fire for the spreading the Gospel. The Gospel readings solidify the Good News that is the Gospel: that Jesus is God, He came to bridge the gap sin has created between us and God, and He died for our sins and rose on the third day defeating sin and death and proving everything that was said about Him was true.
So that’s the readings in a very small nutshell, but I want to reflect on some of the specifics of today’s first reading that set my heart aflame. Reading the first chapters of Acts in general get me really excited because we are reading about the start of how the Church went from 11 guys in a room to the now around 2.2 BILLION people who call themselves Christians! (That’s including all denominations, according to Google.)
How did this happen? Well, a few days ago we heard how the crowds were “cut to the heart” after Peter gave his address and 3000 people joined the Church that day! WOW!! Yesterday we read how Peter cured a crippled man from birth outside the temple area, not by giving him what he wanted (money) but in the name of Jesus giving him what would truly improve his life. Today, this story continues.
Peter points out in today’s reading when people are amazed, Peter is not the one actually healing the man. He is speaking the words, but it is in the name of Jesus that this man is healed. Then Peter states the Gospel again: that Jesus is God, He came to bridge the gap sin caused between us and God, He died for our sins, and rose on the third day proving everything that was said about Him was true. So what are we to do? Repent of our sins and believe in the Gospel.
Lent was the season of repentance and now we are in the season of Easter, the season of GREAT rejoicing! Jesus rose from the dead!! HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS!! Because God loves us so much, Jesus was sent to die for our sins (which we reflected on during Holy Week), and He conquered sin! His LOVE and MERCY reign supreme!
We do not have to wallow in our sin. We use lent to reexamine our lives and repent of our sins, but then we give them to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and we can truly REJOICE and CELEBRATE that Jesus takes our sins! Thanks to Jesus bridging the gap between us and God, we can have that intimate relationship with Him that our hearts long for! THIS IS THE GREAT NEW OF THE GOSPEL!!
We are called to be an Easter people and go, like the Apostles, to joyfully spread the GREAT News!
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.
This news is the best news in the history of the world. How often do you talk about it? How often do you talk about your favorite TV shows? Which one is more? Why?
What miracles have you witnessed? Did you thank God for them?
The Gospel message is that God loves us so much that Jesus died to save us. How does this change 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.
"We are an Easter people."
"His loves reigns."
"Jesus came to save us."
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?
The Gospel is good news! In fact it is the best news there is, yet we often don't share it! Today, make a real effort to tell at least one other person about your faith and why it is important to you.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Cape Girardeau, MO.
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