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).
“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants,
heirs according to the promise.”
Do you belong to Jesus? Do I belong to Jesus?
Sometimes I think we overcomplicate things. Sometimes you and I spend a lot of time thinking about small details and very little time thinking about the big picture things. This happens all the time - how many of you have typed out a text or email and repeatedly deleted it and started over until it was perfect or taken a picture for snapchat or instagram 5 or 6 (or 30 or 40) different times before deciding it was actually good enough to be send? It happens in our faith, too; we spend all kinds of time arguing about and worrying about minor points of the faith until we work ourselves up into a frenzy, going through all of the arguments in our head over and over again until we think it's perfect and we're ready to move on.
There is a time and place to study theology. Really there is; if you don't have some way in your life where you're learning, growing, and becoming more knowledgeable about your faith, then you should implement that.
There is, however, something else that's more important than studying minute details of the faith ad nauseum - and that's to belong to Christ. The whole point of the whole project of Christianity is that you and I surrender our control, our lives, and all that we are to the God-man Jesus because it is in and through Him that we are freed of sin and reunited with the Father. Over and over, you and I must submit ourselves to Him and let Him free us, forgive us, and renew us.
As St. Paul says in today's first reading, we once were in custody under the law, and now we're free in God's grace. That doesn't mean the law is gone - there is a right way to live as we respond to that grace, and we are not given a free pass to do whatever we like - but rather it means that in Jesus we are free to simply belong to Him, and to let that be enough.
You and I became heirs of the promise in our baptism; this promise is eternal union in total joy and fulfillment with the Father, and it is our time now to begin to live in that promise that comes when we, through our baptism and our continued life of faith, now experience and receive that promise.
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 are you struggling to live in the freedom that God promised you?
What does God's promise of grace, new life, and eternal union with the Father really mean? Spend some time digging into that question and let God speak hope into your heart.
How can you more fully live out your baptismal call to be a disciple of Jesus and bring His word with you wherever you go?
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 belong to You."
"I am Yours."
"Jesus I trust in You."
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?
If you don't know when your baptism date is, find out and put it in your calendar. Today, take some time to pray in front of a baptismal font at your church, if you can, or just to pray in thanksgiving for your baptism and the new identity it gives you as a son or daughter of the Father, belonging to Christ.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.