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’s Gospel passage serves as a harsh, but just reminder of the importance of living the Gospel and not leading others astray. As a teacher, this is a passage that has always, and will always remain on my heart and in my mind, because Christ is not playing games. He says, “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”
Couple of things: a millstone is a rock that is used to grind or mill grains and is at a minimum, over a thousand pounds. Christ very bluntly and seriously says it would be better for you to be cast into the sea with a thousand pound rock around your neck, than for you to cause anyone to sin. Christ is telling us here is that we need to be authentically living our lives, which should be lives in pursuit of Christ at all times and not just when it is convenient, or when we are around our Church friends. It is in those times when we are acting like someone else, or we are afraid to live our faith around our friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, or family that we allow ourselves to fall into sin, but we are also more likely to allow those around us to fall into sin as well.
If you cannot live the life Christ calls you to around someone because you are scared or embarrassed or self-conscience that says just as much about them as it does you. Why would you be in a relationship or friendship with someone who you are scared or self-conscience around? Why do we allow ourselves to be one thing around our church friends, and someone else entirely around our teammates, classmates, or boyfriends/girlfriends? Here is the thing, as soon as we become ok with being someone else, whether it is in word, or more likely action, then we open the door for ourselves to sin and allow others to sin as well.
Christ calls us to so much more than mediocrity, which is what we are settling for when we pick and choose when to follow Him. Following Christ is not a matter of convenience, but choosing Him in each and every situation regardless of who we are with. Christ also calls us to remember that there are consequences for our actions and when we allow someone else to sin because of something we said, did, or even did not say or do we need to run to the Lord for mercy and grace, in prayer and the sacraments.
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 the last week, when is one time you chose to follow the Lord regardless of who else was around?
Think of the last week, when is one time you did not follow the Lord because of what others might think?
How can you follow the Lord with reckless abandon this week?
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 choose Christ."
"I will follow."
"Lord I need 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?
Christ wants you to follow Him. How can you choose to do that this week? Maybe you can say grace in public? Maybe you can pray before a test? What is one way to follow the Lord?
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 Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.
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.