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).
Be Holy, for the Lord is holy.
Holiness is a funny concept for us sometimes. We hear the word holy in reference to God, in reference to the saints and then sometimes in reference to what we're supposed to be. Holiness would be described by a lot of us, I'm sure, as not doing the bad things. If you try to sin less, try to be nice and try to be a 'good' person then you're on the path that most of us would look at as holiness.
Today's readings present us with a different, much more challenging view of holiness, specifically in relation to how we treat those around us. The book of Leviticus, not a book we normally spend a lot of time reading, starts the readings off and summarizes things pretty well: love your neighbor as yourself.
Simply put, the readings today present holiness in the context of the community of those around us, knowing that a person is not an island on their own, but rather a communal being who is called to live holiness in relationship to others. The readings ask us some simple questions: do I hold grudges? Do I hate? Am I willing to forgive? Will I give up my time / possessions / energy to love another, even those who are not doing the same for me? Do I pray even for those who persecute me? Do I love all people, or only those who it is easy to love?
We are called, as Christians, to love those we encounter in the world. Whether the person we encounter is a kind Christian who is easy to love, or they are angry and mean and hateful, we are called to love them. To pray for them. To hope for their salvation. To constantly work for their good.
At the end of the day, this is holiness. It's not about "being good." It's not easy. Holiness is about loving despite hurts and difficulties. If we want to seek the Lord's will for our lives, and if we want to seek holiness, we have to be willing to challenge ourselves and go outside of our comfort zones to love.
As our Psalm for today says, the Lord is kind and merciful, forgiving us of our sins. He has forgiven us of everything, removed our sins from us, and loved us with an everlasting love. Now, with all of those we meet, we MUST love in return, for we have been loved by Love Himself, and all we have is a gift from 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.
Do I hold grudges? Do I hate? Am I willing to forgive?
Do I love people? How can I love others better?
Do I love God? How can I love God better?
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.
"Love one another."
"The Lord is kind."
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?
Holiness is not about being just being "a good person." It is about so much more than that. Holiness is found in the little decisions we make each and every day. Today, pray about asking the Lord to help you on the path to holiness. Holiness is not just for a few, we are all called to be holy.
"Do not be afraid to be holy! Have the courage and humility to present yourselves to the world determined to be holy, since full, true freedom is born from holiness." - St. John Paul II
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 Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.