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 remember adamantly believing when I was in grade school that pinky promises were a big deal.
No, really, like a massively huge deal.
I vividly remember one time when I was in third grade, my friend (let’s call her Sally) told me that in a couple of years the earth would lose all of it’s gravity and that the only way for us to stay grounded was to hug a tree for at least 5 minutes everyday up until the big shift in gravity actually took place. Now, because I was a pretty bright kid, Sally’s tall tale made me a bit skeptical, so I very reasonably told her that I would only believe her if she “pinky promised” me it was true, which she of course did. Fast-forward to little third grade me having to meet with my parents and my teacher who were all very concerned about my overly obsessive affection towards perennial plants.
Now I know it might sound silly, but I think there might be a little something we can learn from my younger self’s zealousness towards promises of the pinky variety.
In fact, I think the emphasis we see many little kids put on promising (you know, “cross my heart and hope to die” and all that fun stuff) points to the reality that for us as humans, promises are a pretty big deal. I’d venture to say that at one time or another each of us has experienced the hurt that accompanies and promise broken, or the peace and trust that develops when a promise is fulfilled.
The Good News is that promises are also a pretty big deal for God; and, shockingly enough, he’s much better at keeping his promises than we are. Each of the blessings that Christ talks about in the Gospel today (which altogether we as the Church refer to as The Beatitudes) points not only to what happens to us here on earth, but the promise of what is come in Heaven. They remind us that should we choose to walk with Christ, He will lead us to the Kingdom where we will be eternally comforted and always satisfied; a place where we will be shown mercy and referred to forever as sons and daughters of God. This is the promise of God, that we might be one with Him in peace and joy forever. And not only is it his promise to us, it is also his greatest desire. So let us ask God today for the grace to constantly remember not only his promise, but also his desire: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32).
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.
Think of a time when someone did or did not keep a promise you made with them. What did that mean to you? How did that affect you?
What promises has God made to us?
What do you most look forward to about heaven and the fulfillment of God's promises?
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.
"Your promises are true."
"Your love never fails."
"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?
God has made many promises to us; reflect on these promises and how you can stay true to your end of the promise.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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