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).
I remember very vividly the first time I read today’s Gospel reading. I was a senior in high school and at this particular time in my life I was trying to work my way through the Gospel of Luke, because I had never read a single book of the Bible start to finish before. When I came across these words of Christ they were jarring. I mean literally I remembering reading them in adoration and thinking that up to that point in my life it was the most intense thing I ever read that Jesus had said. “Let the dead bury their dead”; you’re not going to let this guy bury his dad before following you? You won’t let that guy say goodbye to his family? That sounds a little messed up. What’s going on here?
To be clear: Jesus isn’t telling those disciples to literally not do those things, but is illustrating a deeper reality of where their hearts are at and their unwillingness to follow Him even though exteriorly they may say or think that they are ready. Jesus asks them to follow, but their first response is to highlight something, however well meaning, that needs to be attended to first before they can do that. Notice, Jesus isn’t saying to them: “Follow me and let your father die by himself” or “Follow me and leave your family in the middle of the night”. I would actually garner to say that if all the people in the Gospel would have just immediately said yes, they would have been granted that anyways. But what Jesus reveals is the deeper reality of their hearts: they’re not ready, even if they say they are.
To be ready to follow Christ means that we are ready to leave behind anything and everything, to go wherever He asks us to go. Why? Not because He’s mean and cruel, but because He knows us better than what we proport to know about ourselves. To quote St. Therese: “You cannot be a half saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all.” How many times have we said to the Lord, “Yes, Lord, I am ready to follow you. Take me wherever you want”, but then precede to be unwilling to give up looking at our phone at night that leads us into sin, or don’t want to talk with our family about that retreat we went on, or make more time for Netflix in a day than we make for prayer or acts of service. It’s part of our culture: we talk a big game, but much more rarely do we back it up.
That’s what Jesus invites us to consider today: are you actually ready to follow Him? Or do you hesitate? Do you hold on and cling to what He wants to take you away from? Do you fail to trust that His plans for you are better than your own?
Today, follow Christ, and don’t look at what you have to leave behind, even if it’s a good thing. “You cannot be a half saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all.” AMDG.
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.
Is my heart ready to follow Jesus?
Am I ready to leave behind everything and go where God asks me?
What is holding me back?
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.
"I will follow."
"Take up your cross."
"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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.