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).
I am just going to say it.
I like being liked.
It’s true. Even from a young age, I always wanted other people to like me. I was the teachers' helper. I would do extra chores for my grandma so that she’d tell me how good I was. I don’t really like conflict. I don’t like being wrong or arguing with others, even if they are wrong and I’m right. I just don’t like the feeling of people not liking me.
So the message in today’s Gospel makes me uncomfortable. Jesus is saying that when people hate you, remember that they hated me first. What Jesus taught and proclaimed was not received well by some people. And they put Jesus on a cross because of it. Living the Christian life and following Jesus is not always going to be the popular option. It will not always be liked.
And that’s scary for me.
But He tells us that we do not belong to the world. We are His. We find our strength and our identity in Christ. Many people in the world do not (or choose not) to know Jesus and to believe what He teaches. But we have been called out to live our lives for Christ and to spread the Good News to the world.
Quite frankly, this is going to mean that in my life, I am going to be faced with people who do not like me because of my beliefs. There will be some discomfort on my part because I will need to make the choice to walk with Christ and speak about Him to others. Pope Benedict XVI once said, "You were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness." On many things, the world does not agree with me. But I know in my heart that what Jesus teaches is true, and I want to share that with others.
I need to ask the Holy Spirit to enter into those interactions. To give me the courage to speak truth and to share love-even when it might make me uncomfortable. I do like being liked, but I know that Jesus is calling me to more. He's calling me to lay down my own pride for the sake of the Kingdom.
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 have you experienced the discomfort of being a Christ-follower?
What are some things that you believe and stand for that are different than those around you? How have you been able to share what and why you believe what you believe with others?
How are you able to trust in God's love, mercy, and presence in your life even when people dislike you because of your beliefs?
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.
"Jesus I trust in you."
"You are enough."
"I am yours."
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 some time today to think about – or, even better, write down – a list of things about your faith that you are grateful for. In the face of difficulty, gratitude is a powerful antidote and strengthener to get us through. This list gives us the confidence and a reminder that God is present even when things are difficult and that his love is worth facing any trials we might face.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.
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