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).
Today is the feast day of Sts. Simon and Jude – happy feast day! In honor of those saints, today's first reading from St. Paul gives us a perfect opportunity to reflect on the church.
Do you remember the human knot? You know, that thing you probably have done at a retreat or camp or in gym class where you stand in a circle and then link both hands with random hands across the circle and then have to work as a team to get out. It's quite an experience - if you're someone who hates physical touch - it can be a quite awful experience. If you're super extroverted and just like to be around as many people as possible, and like doing puzzles, this might be your favorite game ever.
One thing I loved about this and every other team building activity like is that there is a focus on the reality that every person involved needs to participate in order for success to happen. Just like every old cliche you ever heard from a coach on some team you played for, these activities remind you that the team is more important than the individual.
Today's saints provide the backdrop for understanding a similar reality in our faith. I don't know about you, but I don't know a ton of people with a huge devotion to St. Simon or St. Jude. That's kind of crazy, though, because, well, they were literally apostles. These are 2 of the 12 people Jesus chose to be closest to in his time on earth, and we don't really talk about them except one day out of the year.
You know what's cool about that? These saints in heaven, these building blocks of the Church, were just as important and just as successful in life as any saint we know about. The Church is precisely Simon and Jude: people who experience a call to Jesus and respond. The response is not about accolades or accomplishments or personal glory, but rather being a part of the bride of Christ, the Church.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. In order to do that, he created a Church. The Church that he created is broken, filled with sinful people who have done all kinds of dumb things for 2,000 years. And yet, despite the failures and brokenness, Jesus calls that Church His bride and never stops running after His bride to bring her back into relationship with Him. For you and I, Jesus is giving that same call: let him come to us, let him love us, and be in a relationship with the God who became man to save each one of us.
No matter the part we're asked to play, no matter our skill set or our accomplishments, the Church needs each and every single one of us to fulfill her mission. Let's run today with our brothers and sisters in Christ towards Jesus, knowing that in Him we find the way to join Simon and Jude in heaven for all eternity.
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 are you responding to Jesus's call for you?
What role are you playing in the Church?
How are you striving for heaven today?
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.
"Sts. Simon and Jude, pray for us."
"I am part of the Church."
"Jesus lead me."
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?
Reflect on your role in the Church. How do you spread the Gospel? How do you help others? How did you bring others to Jesus?
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.