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).
,Am I a Pharisee? That's what came to my mind and heart as I read today's gospel. Do I just go through the motions? Do I brag and have a holier than thou attitude? Do I try hard to be seen and glorified? Or do I really love the Lord?
Am I a Pharisee? Or am I a Christian? Jesus is giving us clear directions today on how to be his follower. We must love the Lord before all else. We must be humble and we must be kind. We must not seek to place ourselves first and we should help those in need. We are all called to be Christ’s hands and feet here on Earth. But knowing what it means to be Christian and truly living it are two very different things. The Pharisees thought they were doing it right, how many of us think we are doing it right when the reality is we are not loving our Lord or loving our neighbor?
It is no secret that our country, our world, is in turmoil. You can't turn on the tv, get on Instagram or check Facebook without seeing the hate that is present and divides us so strongly. For weeks, months even it has been tearing me apart. But what to do or say I don't know. So I have been taking it to our Lord.
And I think to myself, am I a Christian or am I a Pharisee? Am I looking out for my neighbor or am I looking out for me?
If you think being a Christian is easy, you're doing it wrong. It is hard, but it wasn't easy for Jesus to die for us (remember when He was sweating blood in the garden). Today, being a Christian is being directly countercultural. We must go against the grain and we must share the Gospel truth: that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and He died for you and for me. The world needs more Christians to act like Christians and less acting like the Pharisee’s.
Will you act like a Pharisee or a Christian today?
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.
What does it mean to be a pharisee? What does it mean to be a Christian? What is the difference?
Do I live my faith truly? Or do I just act like I do?
How can I better love others?
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 am a Christian."
"Love my neighbor."
"I follow Christ."
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?
How can you be a Christian today? Live this out in all you do.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.