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).
“Let no one have contempt for your youth but set an example for those who believe.” When I was younger, I used to think that my mission or my work for the Lord would be for when I was older. I thought, “I’m too young right now, I will be more of a passive or quiet member of the Church, and then, when I am older, the Lord will give me a mission or vocation or call, to live out in my life.” Sometimes, young people can feel it is not their place or time to be valuable witnesses to the faith and to work for the building up of Christ’s mission. I saw this as a high school teacher for many years.
Today’s reading challenges this notion. St. Paul writes to his young disciple Timothy and encourages him to not let people shame him or silence him for his youth. Timothy has something to share with the community, real spiritual gifts and a real witness to the faith NOW and Paul challenges him to continue to do this in the face of difficulty or the disdain of others. The Scriptures and Christian history are full of examples of God calling young children and young adults to be powerful witnesses to the faith: Mary, David, Jeremiah, the children at Fatima, Joan of Arc, and the list goes on right up to our very day.
Your youth is not an obstacle to evangelization and gospel witness, it is an opportunity. Think of all the people you meet daily in your family, your school, your activities, and how God is inviting you to give witness to them of your relationship with Jesus and his Church. God doesn’t wait to call you into mission for His Kingdom until you are older, He calls you NOW to be a humble and bold light to those you walk with. Like Timothy, you are called to set an example for those around you “for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.” It is often fear or unworthiness that holds us back in our witness and causes us to live our faith in an underground way, perhaps Timothy was feeling some of this when St. Paul wrote to him. Fear of what others might think, or not being thought “cool” or not knowing what to say, or fear of failing. These fears can lurk in our heart and tempt us into silence. Today’s readings challenge us to pray about how God is inviting us to witness NOW in our youth, and what fears might hold us back from this.
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 has the Lord called you to be a witness of faith to the people you meet daily?
What fears have been holding you back from being this witness to God and His Kingdom?
How can you be a humble and bold light of Christ now?
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, Lord."
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?
Today, be bold and humble. No matter what age you are, be a witness to God to others. Be like Christ in your actions and your words and have confidence in the grace and skills He has given you to be His witness.
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Today’s prayer was prepared by Jon Polce, SJ.
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