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).
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to serve as a leader on a mission trip to Peru with college students and other FOCUS missionaries! When I was preparing for the mission trip, my mindset was so entirely focused on how the Lord would speak to the students we were bringing on the trip. I was so transfixed on leading my students to an encounter with Christ, that I wasn't preparing my own heart for the ways the Lord wanted to speak to me as well.
As Catholics, it can be easy to take the gifts we have received for granted. It can be easy to grow accustomed to the Lord and how He works in each of our individual lives, which is so beautiful; however, the problem arises when we begin to place our own human expectations on the Lord, rather than allowing Him to astonish us. Every single day is a new opportunity for us to encounter Him... we just have to open our ears to how He desires to speak to our hearts each day.
In today's Gospel, the guards were astonished for they had never before heard anyone speak the way Jesus had spoken. Do we truly allow ourselves to be astonished by the way Jesus speaks to us? Do we invite Him to encounter us in a new and radical way each and every day?
His mercies are new everyday, and just as our earthly fathers desire to give all good things to their children, so too, and even MORE, does the Lord desire to give us good things. We just have to be receptive and attentive to His voice, and simply say yes to the ways He wants to encounter us each day.
When we have this encounter with Christ, when we allow ourselves to be astonished by how He is working in our lives, then everything begins to change. Today, on the joyous feast of St. Patrick, we celebrate the life of a man who was kidnapped and enslaved, but who through encountering Christ in his own suffering, desired to return to the very place of his slavery to serve as a missionary. He allowed Himself to encounter the Lord, even in the midst of great suffering, and he then allowed that encounter to change his life.
Even if you can't pinpoint an exact moment of encounter with the Lord, I invite you today to be attentive to the voice of the Lord in your life. He may be speaking through other people, events, or other situations in your life. Be attentive to His invitation, to the ways in which He is drawing you close to Him through your daily life. Trust that He has so much goodness in store for you, and keep expecting Him to do the greatest things in your life, because He will.
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.
Do you truly allow ourselves to be astonished by the way Jesus speaks to you? Why or why not?
Do you look for His invitation to encounter Him in a new and radical way each and every day? Why or why not?
How can letting yourself simply be astonished change your relationship with God today?
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.
"Here I am, Lord."
"Jesus I Trust in You."
"Come Holy Spirit."
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?
Be astonished by the Lord today. Seek an encounter with Him without expectations and let His love transform you.
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 Sarah Freddino, a FOCUS Missionary at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.
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.