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).
It sounds catchy, right? A fun, quick quip to encourage the Christian in his or her walk with the Lord; something to inspire continued fervor and excitement about the demands of the life Jesus calls them to. While it may be a fun, quick quip, it is quite literally what Jesus is calling us to in the Gospel reading today.
What is unusual about Jesus of Nazareth? There is quite a lot to say as an answer to this question, but we can turn to the Gospel to see prime examples of what set Jesus apart from his contemporaries. Love of enemy, praying for persecutors, loving those who not only love you but also do not love you—these are just some of the things that made Jesus unusual.
And if Jesus was unusual, you better believe that he is, in fact, calling you to do the same. St. Paul calls us to be “imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 11:1). This means that just as Jesus was unusual, we must also be unusual in the same ways. It’s a hefty call to be an imitator of Christ, not just for the reasons outlined in today’s Gospel, but in even higher ways. To imitate Christ is to sacrifice, to preach, to make the kingdom of God even more present in our lives and in our communities. In our pursuit of holiness, of being like Christ, we will find the call to live in these ways very unusual in the eyes of our friends, families, and all around us. Nonetheless, the call doesn’t change— be unusual.
Jesus is calling you to be a disciple and that means following him wherever he beckons, no matter the cost. In pursuing a relationship with him you will be persecuted and hated by the world— this is what he tells us. But we take hope in the fact that the world hated him for being unusual before us and in the grace he pours into our lives. Love fiercely, embrace your enemies, welcome the stranger, 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.
How do I find it hard to love my enemies?
In what ways have I been running away from God's call for me to follow him?
How can I become more prepared to sacrifice to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?
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 will follow You."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Your grace is sufficient for me."
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?
Take time today to lift up a perceived enemy of yours. Perhaps it's someone who has betrayed you, hurt you, or treated you unjustly. Nonetheless, pray for them as Jesus calls you to do today, and ask for the grace to love them as he does.
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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.