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).
Imagine being with Peter and the Apostles in front of the Sanhedrin. The ones who brought Christ to His death were now threatening the lives of the Apostles. Still, nothing could keep the Apostles from proclaiming the greatness of the Risen Lord.
It is so easy to deny Christ. It is so easy to just not bring Him up. Nobody forces you to love Jesus, not even He forces you to love Him or receive eternal life. It is entirely your own free choice. The Apostles were not forced to stand up for the truth of the Resurrection or all the good works of Christ, but they freely chose to proclaim Him. They listened to the last command of Christ to “make disciples of all nations.” They chose to “obey God rather than men.”
Peter and the Apostles were not afraid to boldly proclaim Good News of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it can feel like that boldness and trust in the Lord is hard to come by these days. How often do you see someone contradict the norms of society with the truths of Christ? How often do we hear that there is no such thing as sin, that as long as you’re a good person you’ll be fine. How often do you hear that God doesn’t even exist? Well Christ has told us something different. We do mess up and our sins bring us away from God. Being a good person is great, keep it up, but there is so much greatness offered to us. There is so much love that is found in relationship with God. There is grace, joy, love, peace, eternal rest, and more. Being a good person is okay, but it misses out on all that God has to offer us.
This is what the Apostles are proclaiming. There is a Savior who has taken on the debt of our sins and has brought us back into a relationship with God. He was killed by man but “God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.” We have the opportunity to receive the sacraments, to be reconciled with God through the grace of Jesus Christ. The Apostles were witnesses of this, but we too “are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we go out and spread the Good News with the same boldness of Peter and Apostles. There is so much to receive from God and so much to give to others. Let us follow the examples of the Apostles and obey God rather than men through boldly proclaiming the Truth that is Jesus Christ.
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 would it be like to be with the Apostles standing before the Sanherdrin? Are you ever ridiculed for your faith in Jesus Christ?
Who is your example of a disciple of Jesus who is bold in their faith? What about their example inspires your own faith in Christ?
Do you trust that the Holy Spirit will always be with you, especially in the difficult times, like standing up for God? How can you grow to follow the example of the Apostles' dependence on the Holy Spirit?
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 trust in You."
"I choose You."
"I love 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?
Spend time with the Holy Spirit today. Get to know Him better through prayer and grow in your relationship together. When in prayer, ask for the intercession of Peter and the Apostles, that they would pray for your courage in faith. After prayer time, go out in confidence and trust in the truth of Jesus Christ. Stand up for Him and all that He did for the salvation of all of mankind.
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 Mary Griffin, a Senior Theology and Catechetics major at Franciscan University of Steubenville.