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).
In the simplest words, Jesus asks a powerful question:
“What is unusual about that?”
What is unusual about holding a grudge with someone who hurt you? What is unusual about yelling back at someone who started an argument with you? What is unusual about ignoring someone on the street who is in need? What is unusual about speaking badly about yourself or others?
Often, what is usual or acceptable in the world’s perspective withholds a certain degree of love. To choose love in a difficult situation or within a difficult relationship requires great courage and strength. It is in that very moment when your emotions are biting and your thoughts are justifying your potential response that choosing love is crucial. The smallest act of love holds an incomprehensible magnitude of power.
This purposely implies that love is not an emotion. Love is a virtue, and it is the greatest of all.
God loves every single person that has, is, or ever will exist, and He has loved us even through our own sinfulness. What justification could we have for withholding love from any other person? Jesus doesn’t say to befriend our enemies, but to love and pray for them. More so, Jesus doesn’t say to give up the fight with our enemies. Instead, we’re called to fight in a more noble way, with love, and to win them over to God’s side rather than attempt to destroy them.
God wants us to stand out by being out of the ordinary. The “ordinary” or the “usual” in the world revolves around selfishness. The world loves when it feels good or when it is easy or convenient to do so. God loves always, and we, God’s children, are also called to exemplify that radical love.
Ask yourself frequently if the choices you are making are considered “usual” to the world and challenge yourself to break out of the comfort zone, love unconditionally, and be “unusual”.
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.
In what ways is the way I live my life "unusual" compared to the world?
How is the love that Jesus has for me being given out to others in my life?
How am I loving others around me? Am I loving well when it's easy or when it's hard?
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.
"Thank you for loving me, Jesus."
"Help me to follow you and not only the world."
"Let my life reflect your perfect love."
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?
Spend some time praying for those in your life for whom it's difficult to love. Invite the love of Jesus in and let the Holy Spirit work in your heart so you can choose to love in those hard situations.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.
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