Step #1: Lectio / Read
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).
"The Holy Spirit said."
As I was reading this First Reading and praying with it just now, I was struck by that phrase, and by that idea that, as the people were praying, the Holy Spirit spoke to them in such a tangible way. Throughout the Acts of the Apostles, we are presented with a picture of a group of Disciples who are in tune with the Holy Spirit and live their lives off of His will, not their own. In the history of the Church, too, we have continued to see men and women led by the Holy Spirit preaching the Gospel, healing those who were sick, helping those in need, and bringing His love and grace wherever they go.
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, the One who Jesus called the Advocate. Jesus told the Church that when He was gone, the Holy Spirit would be with us. Jesus even promised that we'd be better off if He was to leave because then we'd receive the Holy Spirit.
In my life, though, I spend a lot of time making my own plans. I make my task lists, I make my schedule, and I choose which Netflix show I'm going to spend (waste) my free time on. The Disciples realized that in the Holy Spirit they had been given a Gift that made it so they didn't have to know what was next, where they were supposed to go; they had Someone they could trust, Someone who would lead them.
Today, let's live like these early followers of Christ. Let's pray with one another, let's listen to the Holy Spirit, and then let's respond. He won't necessarily come as a booming voice; often the Lord comes in a much smaller way, through the influence and voice of our community or those who are mentors to us. Regardless of how He speaks, though, He has a plan and a path for your life that is meant to bring you joy and peace and ultimately fulfillment in relationship with Him.
One last thing that's important to know is that the Holy Spirit will not make the path that He gives you easy. Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow Him; these Disciples who were sent out through the Holy Spirit learned the reality of that very concretely, as many of them were actually martyred for their faith. The Lord has a plan for your life, and the Holy Spirit will lead you there; He will guide you, He will give you strength, but He will not necessarily clear the path for you. In fact, many times, He is going to lead you to suffering because it is good for you to help you transform your heart to love Him more.
And so we go forward today calling upon the Holy Spirit. Let us spend time in fasting, time in prayer, and time praying with one another, and then, like the Disciples, let us be sent forward by the Holy Spirit to bring the Lord to everyone we meet.
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.
The Holy Spirit is with us always. How have you encountered the Holy Spirit in your life?
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, but often the Holy Spirit is the hardest person for us to relate to. How do you see the Holy Spirit? How can you encounter the Holy Spirit more?
Who is in your Christian community? How can you pray for them today?
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.
"Come Holy Spirit."
"The Holy Spirit said."
"God has a plan."
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?
Today, ask to see the Holy Spirit working in your life. Pay close attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you and pray this prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.