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).
In May 2008, my friends and I sat in a dark movie theater to watch Iron Man. The first project in Marvel’s now famous cinematic universe, which connected super heroes from different worlds, time periods, and galaxies. Eleven years — and 22 movies — later, we’ve reached an “endgame” (pun intended).
Without spoiling much, what happens after Marvel’s latest movie, “Avengers: Endgame,” hints at a turning point for the franchise, and it may involve passing the torch to new heroes. As a fan, it’s tough to hear some of the people I’ve connected with over the last decade won’t be around. However, it’s another example of art imitating life. Kind of like what we see in the Acts of the Apostles.
Reading the Gospels, we grew close to Jesus, Simon Peter, and the apostles. In Acts, we’re introduced to the next generation of followers. The new torch bearers who will spread the God’s word. In today’s first reading, we meet several new disciples, including Stephen. While we know Stephen’s “endgame” is that he would eventually become the first martyr in the church, following his journey gives us a sense that change isn’t so bad; especially when we trust the foundation laid down by God.
You and I, like Stephen, have the chance today to be given the faith by the Church of Jesus Christ and, trusting in God's plans and foundation, bring his love and his word to the whole world. Will we, like Stephen, be torch bearers of the faith in the world?
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 is God calling you, like Stephen, to receive his call in your life right now and be open to his word?
How can you bring God's love and truth to those you meet today?
How have you seen God's plan and foundation in your life? Can you trust in that plan more as you seek to live your life following his call for you?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Help me follow your plans."
"Give me the grace to share your love today."
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?
Do something bold today and share your faith. You can:
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Today's prayer was prepared by Brandon Hudson, a news reporter in Philadelphia, PA.
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