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).
As a parish priest we are always thinking what can we provide for our parishioners or to the people who come to us. In the parish, we would often sit down in a meeting and start enumerating what kind of service or program we can provide for the parish. In our times, we become so creative in concocting programs to sell to our people so that we can help them come back to church or grow deeper in their faith, but to no avail.
Jesus in our gospel today sent His disciples for the mission but instructed them to take nothing for the journey. No programs, no service department, no ads, no social media or video to show. They are, however, to go to the people's homes, to visit with them and bring them the Good News that they are loved and have been saved by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
Evangelization happens when there is a personal encounter. Our presence, our facial expression, our eyes looking at the eye of the other person is what makes people convince that God truly loves them. Especially in our times when depression and loneliness is everywhere, people need us to be present to them, listen to them, cry with them, be kind to them. More than anything, that is what Christ wants us to bring to the people and so he instructed his disciples to bring nothing in the journey. Our human touch to the lonely, our reassuring voice to the grieving, our listening ear for the poor is the very presence of Jesus.
These lonely people, these marginalized people are not too far. Some of them are in our very homes and some are our very friends. Lend an ear to one of them, and you will bring them Christ.
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.
What can you do today to, in a simple way, bring Christ to others?
Who is someone in need of Christ's love? What can you do to encounter them?
In what ways do you need God's help to grow in confidence in evangelizing and love for those around you?
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 trust in you."
"I want to serve you."
"Help me be your presence to others."
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?
Encounter someone in love today. Bring Christ's love to them through your simple words and actions, proclaiming God's love through word and deed. It can be something small, like talking with a friend who needs to hear the Good News of Christ, or something like going to a nursing home or soup kitchen. Whatever you do, proclaim the love of God, trusting in His help, love, and mercy.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Ervin Caliente, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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