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).
Throughout the Season of Easter, you surely have noticed that the first readings at Mass are taken from the Acts of the Apostles rather than from the Old Testament, as they typically are during the rest of the liturgical year. Also, during this season, the second readings at Sunday Mass usually come from 1 Peter, 1 John or the Book of Revelation depending on what liturgical year it is, and the Gospels are almost always taken from John’s gospel. Why does the liturgy shift away from it’s usual form this time of year? The reason is because at this time of year, between Easter and Pentecost, we Christians are celebrating the resurrection of Christ and focusing on the ways that we can pull its glorious message forward into our current time, and into our lives now.
Today’s passage from Acts describes how St. Paul gathered the prominent members of the church at Ephesus and was able to describe to them, with confidence, that throughout his travels, he had done his utmost to be faithful to the mission that was appointed to him. He had proclaimed the good news of the resurrection and the promise of “repentance before God”. Thanks be to God. He also knew and laid out to them how he understood that in the coming days, he would be nearing the end of his journey, and that he did not expect to come to them again. He made it clear, that because of his faith to the mission, he could be assured that he was not responsible for any of them, because he did not shy away from the obligation Jesus had placed upon him. St. Paul had a similar proclamation in his 2nd epistle to St. Timothy. He stated, as he reflected on his journey “I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith”.
In both passages, he was urging his intended audience to now go forth take upon themselves the same mission he had been working to fulfil; to spread the saving news of Jesus’ life, his sacrifice and his resurrection. To earnestly strive to bring all whom they met to an understanding of Jesus’ gift to humanity.
Let us all have the hope that throughout our own lives we will be able to look back with a degree of joy, and humbly take refuge in a realization that we “have fought the good fight to the end”, that we “have run the race to the finish”, and that we have above all “kept the faith”.
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.
Am I doing everything I can to be faithful to God's plan for my life?
How have I been fighting to spread the Good News of Jesus?
In what ways do I see the joy of fighting to serve Jesus in my 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.
"Help me fight the good fight."
"I want to serve you, Jesus."
"Thank you for calling me to follow 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?
Take time today to talk to just one person about the Good News of Jesus Christ.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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