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).
Pride has always been a struggle of mine. One particular class I was taking as a junior in college, I had the opportunity to give a 45 minute presentation to my classmates on being made in the image of God. Before it was my turn, I took some pretty harsh turns in my head judging my peers and what they were bringing to the table: I wouldn’t have said that in that way, that was a stupid connection to make, this is really bombing how embarrassing, I’m going to do sooo much better than them. Well my turn came to present and something incredible happened- I flopped. I mean majorly. I couldn’t remember my points, didn’t really know what to say, and floundered for the next 45 minutes. After I finished I had the opportunity to receive critique from my classmates who, as gracious as they were, gently commented what I already knew: you could have done way better on that!
Pride – it’s the bane of existence isn’t it? Let’s face it, no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, your socio-economic background, race, gender, whatever, pride is a struggle. When looking at this week’s readings, we receive a master class in humility, a chance to be humbled ourselves.
Turn to today’s Gospel: “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” If you ask me, the entirety of the Christian life could be summed up in that one verse. This is who we are called to be. The fault of the Pharisee wasn’t in the things that he was doing, but the mindset he had about others in doing them: look how great I am, all these great works I do for the Lord. Thank God I’m not like the rest of humanity. Have you ever caught yourself in this type of mindset before? I know I have! Jesus Christ calls us to more. Don’t self-justify your worth in God’s eyes based on the things you do for me, seek to do the will of God, and rejoice in whatever it is He calls you to do. In turn, let Him be the final judge of others, not you. He’s much more trustworthy anyways.
Adopt the mindset of the tax collector. What Christ wants from you is to orient each and every single work, all the good you do, to the glory of God and His glory alone, recognizing that we are all lowly, just as much as the tax collector. Why? Because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God is the one who justifies, not us.
Today, be humble. Think differently about others. Allow God to show you where you need to be humbled in life. And in this humility and obedience you will experience a joy, peace, and happiness this world could never know. AMDG.
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.
How does your pride get in the way of bringing you closer to Jesus?
How can you practice humility more? What do you need to let go of to do so?
How can your humility bring God glory?
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.
"Help me be humble."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Lord take my pride."
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?
Today, pray the Litany of Humility.
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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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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.