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).
Jesus is taking a pretty serious tone with the Jewish people here. He is both fed up and exhausted with the fact that no matter how the truth is presented to them, they reject it. He says that they are acting like children, I mean he literally says those words to them. To paraphrase here, Christ is basically saying, we (John the Baptist and Himself) have done everything we could for you, and we did them in completely different ways and you have rejected both of us for. Nothing is good enough for them and Jesus is teaching us a very valuable lesson here. Jesus is reminding us that no matter what we do, and how we do it, when we are trying to bring the truth of Christ to people we will always have critics and people that want nothing to do with us.
Please understand, there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to talk about your faith. In brief, we are called to lovingly spread the truth of Christ and his Church without altering or dumbing it down; and sidenote, no one has ever become closer to Christ because someone argued and yelled at them.
Christ tells us that we will always have critics no matter who we are, which is why we should always be striving to be our most authentic self. We really just need to be trying to be the person God created us to be. There is no one way to be holy, or to live that holiness out in your day to day life. Look at the Saints! We have Saints who were kings and queens, and Saints who were slaves, we have Saints who traveled all over the world, and Saints who barely left the town they were born in. We have Saints who lived old and very full lives and we have Saints who died before they were teenagers. We should find comfort in the fact that just like the Saints, we are called to live the joy of Christ in our own authentic way. We are all so tired of fake things, fake people, and fake relationships, and your authenticity may be the greatest witness of Christ to someone. Despite all this however, we have to remember what Christ is teaching us: that at end of the day no matter what we do, people will reject us because we are striving to be like Him. The question then becomes, “Are we being authentic to who we were created to be or are we trying to fit a mold or stereotype because we think it will make us look holier?”
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.
Am I critical of the way the Lord reveals Himself to me?
Am I afraid of the critics when I share my faith?
Am I my own worst critic when it comes to whether my faith is 'enough'?
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 see you Lord."
"I trust you Lord."
"I want to share you Lord."
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?
Look at how you are expecting the Lord to reveal Himself to you. Have you been praying for a particular thing that has gone unanswered? Are you sure it's not been answered? Are you looking for one thing, but the Lord has shown up in a different way? Recognize where He's working in your life today, even if it's not what you expected.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.
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