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).
Back in the times of the early Church, within the first hundred or so after Christ's Ascension, the first Christians were persecuted for their faith. Like Christ, they were rejected, blamed, scorned, and many were even put to death. Today, the Church is still persecuted, but the Holy Spirit is always here to guide and protect us.
In today's Gospel, Christ warns His disciples of the tough times they would face but, even more than that, He promised to give them the strength to face oppression through the Holy Spirit. Christ challenges us, requires us to stand firm in our faith even when we are ridiculed for it.
Who hasn't gotten the sideways glance or the judging tone when someone asked about your faith? It can be really hard to stand up for Christ when someone is persecuting you for it, but look at the first Christians, like St. Paul. He was arrested, put on trial, and even killed for Christ. Through all the turmoil and strife he faced, he never turned against or denied our Lord. He always trusted in the Holy Spirit to guide his words when he had to face trial or opposition.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to speak for us when we are maltreated for the faith. We can see through the witness of St. Paul that Christ has been faithful to this promise and will do the same for us all these years later. We don't have to worry about what to say to people who question us about the faith if we are open to letting the Holy Spirit come and work through us. Christ says, "do not worry about how you are to speak" because we now have the Holy Spirit who is given to us in our Baptism and Confirmation.
We can follow the witness of St. Paul and listen to these words of Christ today. The early Church was brought before emperors, high priests, and crowds of angry people, and the Holy Spirit worked through all who let Him. Today in places like school or out and about in public we can run into people who mock us or question our intelligence for the Faith. Like the people who were set before the governments and crowds, the Holy Spirit will work through you too in your own times of need if you let Him. Always. Trust in the promises of Christ and follow Him with confidence.
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.
When have you felt persecuted or judged for your faith? How did you respond?
Do you trust in the Holy Spirit? How have you allowed the Holy Spirit to work in you and guide your thoughts and actions?
Where do you draw your strength from? The Holy Spirit? Prayer? Or do you rely on your own abilities?
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.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Do not worry about how you are to speak."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
The next time you are confronted about your beliefs, before responding, pray the words, "Come, Holy Spirit."
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.
Mary Griffin is originally from Massachusetts and currently a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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