STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.
“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
Acts 20: 17-27
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
It is that time of year, where everyone is getting ready for summer. Classes are ending, you are reviewing material preparing for finals and end of year tests. For seniors and 8th graders the end of the year means something different. You’re preparing to leave behind your school, some of your friends, places that are familiar to go some place new and to begin a new phase of your life. And even if you aren’t preparing to graduate, the end of the school year might be bringing changes in your life.
When I think about graduations, one of the first things that come to my mind are the speeches. They are usually at the end of the ceremony, and they are full of hope. They look forward to the future, new goals and dreams. My favorite graduation speech I have ever heard was given by my little brother when he graduated college this past December. He got up there and told the graduating class from Purdue all that they had to look forward to when then left the walls of their school behind. I wish I could quote him, but I think I was crying too hard, because I was so proud of him.
That is what you expect in a graduation speech, to be motivated and inspired. You want to be filled with hope and joyous anticipation. But Paul’s speech to the Gentiles is anything but the typical graduation speech. Paul is getting ready to leave. Where he is going he is not sure, but he knows he will not be returning. He is a little intense. He talks about his struggles, how hard he had to work to spread the Gospel. His goal is always to spread God’s love and grace to others.
Paul isn’t afraid of the next phase of his life, even though the Holy Spirit has told him he will face persecution, imprisonment and hardships. He is going forward, despite knowing he will suffer, because he knows he is following God’s will. Knowing God’s love and God’s plan is what sustains him.
Paul was one brave guy. It wasn’t graduation where he was being hopeful about the future, wondering what it would hold for him. He had a pretty good idea. But even knowing that challenges and sufferings were coming, he placed radical trust in God.
Whatever is going to change for you this summer, God is asking for you to trust him. You might have the best summer ever or you might have to experience some trials or hardships. But God is there for you, he won’t leave you. Put your trust in Him.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
What changes will you face this summer? Are you nervous? Excited? Tell God about these changes.
When you are faced with challenges how do you meet them? How can you bring God into this struggles?
How is God asking you to increase your trust in Him?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"I put my trust in Him."
"With God, I have nothing to fear."
"Increase my trust."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Write down three things you are worried about or challenges you think you will face this summer. Ask God to take these challenges from you and place your trust in Him. Put them in an envelope or somewhere you will not see them for a while. At the end of the summer, look at them to see how God has worked in your life.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior.