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 the middle of 7th grade, I switched schools. I walked into my new school on that first day filled with nervous excitement. I was THE new kid. I felt myself grow more at ease as the first couple classes passed by, and I only had one more class until lunch. Then, I walked into my math class and took the last empty seat in the second row all the way on the right side. A few minutes into class I reached down to grab my ruler, which was under my desk, and next thing I know, my desk completely flips over with me still sitting in it. You can only imagine the embarrassment I felt as I lay there in shock as all my new classmates stared and tried not to laugh.
Similarly, a part of me feels embarrassed for the wedding guest in today’s parable. How awkward that must have been for everyone involved! We all have experienced plenty of embarrassing moments in our lives, yet hopefully we have all learned and grown from them. Jesus tells this parable today not to make us cringe with embarrassment or shame but to show us that we could all use a little dose of humility in order to allow the Lord to exalt us and raise us up in His own time and in His own way.
Humility is honestly the virtue that scares me the most. We all want to be noticed and loved and successful. Sometimes, I get so caught up in trying to attain each of those things that I forget that God should be enough for me. Humility asks a lot of us. It asks us to put aside all of our earthly desires and fears and allow God to be enough for us. The truth is if we are humble and seek the Lord first in all that we do, He will fulfill those deepest desires of our heart in greater ways than we could ever dream of.
The Lord shows us the greatest possible act of humility on the cross. He freely chose to endure that suffering and to embrace that humility all for us. And yet we cannot forget that three days after the Crucifixion came the Resurrection. Even in and through those moments of great humility, the Lord has a greater plan.
Despite that rough start on that first day at my new school, switching schools turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life and greatly shaped me into the person I am today. In those moments of humility, the Lord is continuing to form and shape us and ultimately lead us back to the cross. Do not fear humility, but embrace it with the hope that the Lord will work through it to exalt us one day.
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.
Reflect on some of the most humbling moments in your life. Did you use those times to let the Lord give you greater humility? Why or why not?
In what ways has the Lord helped you to grow in humility? In what ways do you still need greater humility?
What scares you the most about those humbling moments in your life? About growing in humility? How can you give those fears to the Lord right now?
Spend a few moments talking with Jesus about your desire to grow in humility and how you need His grace.
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.
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
"Jesus, You must increase, I must decrease."
"Lord, help me to grow in humility."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, pay attention to those humbling moments. Next time something embarrassing or humiliating happens, instead of running from it, accept it as a grace from the Lord and offer it up to Him so He can transform you.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.