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).
This passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians may seem a little obscure. How is it relevant? Why would you care about Jews (the circumcised) and Gentiles? Well, because this is a great example of loving those around us, no matter their background.
At the time of Jesus, the Jews did not associate with Gentiles. The Gentiles were unclean, pagan, and sinful in their eyes. That’s why it was such a big deal that these new Christians were talking and eating with the Gentiles. The Christians were going against the culture, against everything they had been told! So why did they do it? Why be publicly embarrassed over some strangers? Because Jesus said to His disciples, “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:18). St. Paul and St. James were following the command of Christ to bring the Good News of salvation, of mercy and unending love and eternal life, to all people no matter what race or religion they are.
So how does this relate to us now? We are still called to be like St. Paul and St. James. They put their reputation, even their lives on the line all to make God’s love known to more people. They were not exclusive and kept all the glory of life with God to themselves. They didn’t act superior and condescending to the Gentiles, but open and loving. We are all called to do the same. We are called, by Jesus, to go out to people who we maybe never would talk to, and share that love that God has for them.
How could you live this out? Maybe you go over and talk to someone sitting alone at lunch or in class. Maybe you just chat with someone who you think is unkind or doesn’t want friends. Think of someone who you think needs God’s love in their life. Maybe try talking to them today. Now, all of this does not mean you stride over to someone and immediately say “YOU NEED TO KNOW JESUS, HE LOVES YOU!” right when you first meet. That’d be pretty odd, to be honest, and would not lead to a relationship. Instead, just be like St. James. He hung out with people who did know who God is and was an example of His love. You can do that too, in whatever situation you find yourself in. Be a friend to someone today, be like the Apostles and bring the Good News to someone new. This might be difficult, uncomfortable, awkward, even embarrassing, but God has so much love for each and every person He created. Ask God for the grace to be a light of that love.
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.
Who is the Lord calling me to reach out to today?
What am I willing to sacrifice for my faith and to share it with others?
How can I begin to share the love of God with those around me?
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.
"May I be a light of your love."
"Your grace is enough."
"Live in love."
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?
Pray that the Lord will reveal to you an opportunity today to share His love with someone, and ask Him for the courage to do it!
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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 Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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