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).
The tree in the gospel today has existed in the mind of God even before the creation of the world. God placed it there knowing at the precise moment that Jesus walked through town, Zacchaeus would see it and immediately be aided in catching a glimpse of the Lord. The tree did nothing more than exactly what trees do. It grew and it stayed in one spot and yet…that tree played a pretty big role in the life of Zacchaeus and two thousand years later we are still talking about it.
The gospel tells us that Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. We don’t know exactly what he had heard about the Lord, but whatever he had heard made Him curious enough to look for Him. Jesus intended to simply pass through the town, but in seeing a sinful man make the effort to see Him, He decided He wanted to stop and stay with the man.
Often times people have a slight inclination to check out the faith. They can become a little curious as to what is so compelling that others go to Church and speak of Jesus. However, it’s scary to take a step out in faith. It is incredibly daunting for many people to go out of their way to ‘see who Jesus is’. That is where you come in.
Be a tree. Keep your feet rooted on the ground so that those around you may know you are with them, and that they can relate to you. Let your mind branch out into the sky, reaching for higher things such as a greater understanding of life in union with God. Be there, wherever there is, because Jesus will place little desires in the hearts of those around you to see Him, and if you are there, they will have hope of gaining the view they desire. Help others to rise above their pain and suffering. Help them to have someone to rely on, not to pressure them or judge them, but to give them a place to rest along their journey to know our Lord.
On that day, life for Zacchaeus changed forever. It took a few steps up with the help of that tree, but Jesus came to spend time with Him. The God of the universe sought to rest with Zacchaeus and He seeks to rest in our hearts. We do not know who in our lives is longing for the chance to rise up. Be steady. Grow. Know that the Lord wants to use you, right where you are, to bring many to Him.
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.
God new before creation that the tree would grow for Zacchaeus. God always knew you would be born and living in the here and now. Talk to God about His love and plan for you.
Where are your roots? What are you spending your time in? Are your roots growing? Are they strong?
Are you seeking Jesus out? Are you climbing the tree to spend time with Him?
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.
"God loves me."
"I am a tree."
"Jesus, I am seeking 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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, go look at some trees. Yes, go look at trees. They are part of God's creation, just like you are. Appreciate them for the beauty of God's creation, but also realize that you are called to be like that tree and show God to the world.
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 Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.