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).
People often read this Gospel passage and think that Jesus had biological brothers. Is this the truth? Well a couple of years ago when I was in college I was working an event at the parish when one of the African priests came to the event with about 20 people. He began introducing them to me one by one saying that this one was his brother and this other one was his brother and that this one was his sister and this other one was his sister and so on and so on. After he had referenced about 10 people as his siblings I said to him, "wait all of these people are your brothers and sisters? How many kids did your parents have?" He looked at me and laughed and said, "No, all of these people are from the same village as me back in Nigeria and so I call them my brothers and sisters." From that time on this passage from the Gospel made sense to me because in different cultures and different times words have different meanings. So for 2000 years ago 'brothers' either meant people from the same village as Jesus or possibly His cousins.
Now for Jesus, what truly identifies family line is those that follow God and His love. So the question for us today is how much are we truly following the love of God? If someone met me today would they be able to recognize that I am a brother or sister of Jesus Christ? Do I act in a visible way that magnifies the Gospel. Even more so, do I recognize that the person next to me at Mass or across the pew has the same blood running through their body as me? This blood is the blood of Christ! Wow! What gets more incredible then realizing that each one of us in our Catholic faith has the literal God of the universe running through our veins? In that case, I better live out that reality. I want to be Christ, and a brother or sister, to each person I meet!
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.
Do you consider other Catholics as your brothers and sisters? Why or why not?
Would people who meet you be able to recognize you as a brother or sister of Jesus? Why or why not?
How can you live more like family with the people in your life?
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 love You, Lord."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Help me to love like 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?
Work to build the family bounds with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, reach out to your family members and show them you love them today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Kyle Manno, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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