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).
When it comes to calling out the scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus never really seems to hold back. It’s clear in the way he addresses them, especially in today’s Gospel, that the Lord values sincerity and authenticity, characteristics that many of the religious leaders of Jesus’ time were greatly lacking.
But living authentically can be a challenge because it requires vulnerability and boldness, a willingness to put ourselves out there as we are, without conforming to who we think others want us to be. And that’s scary; at least it has been for me.
So, if it’s okay with you, today for our reflection, I’d like to invite you into what the Lord has been teaching me about how to choose authenticity.
See, so often I approach my encounters with others through the lens of trying to get them to like or approve of me. But what the Lord has been teaching me is that, if I want to pursue true authenticity, it is far more productive to approach my encounters with others through the lens of how the Lord is calling me to love them. If we approach relationships from the perspective of giving instead of taking (because the Lord has already given us all of the love and approval we need), we experience more freedom to be who we truly are.
And so today, as you spend time with the Lord in prayer, I would invite you to ask Him to reveal to you how He desires for you to be a vessel of His love in the lives of those you are going to encounter today. When we choose to give from our abundance instead of from our lack, we challenge the Pharisee-mindset that has wriggled it’s way into our hearts, and we open ourselves up to true authenticity as sons/daughters of the Father.
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.
In what areas of my life do I feel a lack of authenticity being lived? In my friendships and relationships? Or elsewhere?
How do I struggle with vulnerability in my life? Why is it hard for me to open up to others, or to God? How can I grow in my vulnerability?
How often do I view relationships as a chance to give of myself instead of a chance to take or gain for myself? How is God calling me to give of myself in love more often?
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.
"You are all I need."
"It is better to give than to receive."
"Help me love as you 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?
Take Lauren's advice and spend time asking God how you can be a better vessel of his love for those around you. Make a list of your family and friends and think of one concrete way you can commit to approaching them this week in a spirit of love and giving, and not taking or receiving.
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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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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.