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).
There are certain stories in the Gospel that are pretty straightforward, where you can read them once, get the point, and move on for a while until the Lord brings you back to that text later. Other stories, like the one we read today, are incredibly dense and loaded with meaning in almost every verse.
We know the story of Peter walking on water; after Jesus tells them not to be afraid, He calls Peter to step out into the water. First, though, Peter asks the Lord to call him. What a beautiful image; Jesus calls us into things we never could've imagined, but first He asks us to have the boldness to ask Him for big things. Peter walks for a while, but then loses sight of the Lord and sinks. How often we do the same thing! We walk towards Jesus...for a while...and then we take our eyes off of Him and realize all too clearly that we cannot make it alone. Jesus asks them why they doubt, and the question stands today: why is our faith so small? Why do we doubt? The people are amazed, and begin to come to Jesus just to touch His cloak, knowing that in doing that they'll be healed. Do you and I trust in His power that much?
Before any of this, though, we hear one of the most familiar things that we see in the life and ministry of Jesus; He sends the apostles off, and then He goes "up the mountain to pray." In our Old Testament reading, we hear of conflict between Moses, Aaron, and Miriam over the question of who specifically God speaks to. "Does He not speak to us, as well?", they ask.
In the life of Jesus, we see our answer about who God speaks to: the one who is willing to go up the mountain, to spend time with Him, and to pray. It was bold for Jesus to call Peter out on the water, but Jesus could have that boldness because He knew the Father and knew what the Father thought about Him. How did He know that? In prayer.
You and I are called to the exact same thing; we're called to bold faith that challenges us to step out on the water and allows us to call those that we care about to take bold steps in faith, as well. Before we can do anything, though, we need to know the Lord and see ourselves in His sight. We can only do that if we're willing to spend time with Him, to pray, and to encounter Him.
Sometimes, that prayer will be fruitful, simple, and a natural part of our day. Other times, we'll have to climb a mountain, maybe be a little bit tired and out of breath, but with a different vantage point. We're not simply going to come to the Lord when it's easy or when it's comfortable; we need to come to Him when it's hard, when it hurts, and also when it's comfortable. If we come to Him no matter what, if we constantly put ourselves in His presence, look at Him, and let Him look at us, we'll be able to step out on the water with Peter and Jesus, going wherever the Lord might call us.
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 struck you, in particular, about this Gospel reading today? What is He trying to say to you?
How have you been challenged in your struggle to keep a daily, consistent prayer life? What can you do to "climb the mountain" with Jesus and spend time quietly with the Lord each day?
In faith, are you willing to step out wherever the Lord is calling? If that is hard, why is it hard? Have you held part of yourself back from Him? Have you taken your eyes from Him and let them focus on the world?
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.
"My eyes are on You."
"I will follow You."
"I trust in 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?
After spending time with the Lord, be bold in your way of loving other people today. For Jesus, that was calling Peter onto the water. Maybe you're called to invite a friend to Mass or Youth Ministry. Maybe you have to tell a family member you're sorry. Maybe you're called to share Jesus with a stranger you meet. Whatever it is, be bold.
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, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.