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).
This may sound strange, but I was taught a good lesson by the chief priests and Pharisees in this Gospel today. Bear with me on this.
After Jesus spoke to a crowd, some people were talking amongst themselves, almost gossiping, about whether they thought Jesus was the Christ or just a prophet. Nicodemus basically gets turned down by the chief priests for his idea of bringing Jesus in and asking what he is preaching about before he would be arrested. The response for Nicodemus’ request is, "You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."
This Gospel remind me to watch how judgmental I tend to be in my heart and mind toward others. There are plenty of times that I am tempted to judge people even in the Catholic world. Thinking thoughts like,”They are pretty weird since they don’t pray like I do.” Or, “are they even paying attention at Mass?” Or, “they say they’re really Catholic, but they haven’t gone to Confession in a really long time. Yikes!”
Why do I think it is okay to view others through a negative lens?! However, there is a temptation to not love others where they are at and ask questions in order to understand. It is no secret that the Chief Priests feel threatened by Jesus’ impact to the crowds, so naturally they don’t want to have him come to them to be questioned. They would rather make sure that no other prophets come from a “lowly” place like Galilee.
What can the chief priests teach us from this Scripture? To not jump to conclusions and judge. If we feel like our ways are always right and holy, take a moment right now to pray for humility. If our thoughts start to go down a judgmental path, stop and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide your heart towards compassion and understanding.
Christ is calling us to be people of mercy-not of judgment, pride, or selfishness. Let us ask the Lord for strength from Him to be gentle and kind in our thoughts and actions, rather than clinging to our assumptions.
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.
In what ways do you experience the temptation to judge or look at others through a negative lens?
How is God calling you to grow in the virtue of humility today?
How is the Holy Spirit urging you today away from pride or selfishness but instead into His strength, gentleness, and kindness?
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.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Teach me to be caring."
"Teach me to be kind.
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?
Focus on kindness in your thoughts and words today. Pay attention to the way you react to others and work at controlling any thoughts to judgment, pride, or bitterness.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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