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).
If I am being honest, my first reaction to today’s Gospel kind of made me nervous. I mean, not super comforting there Jesus, as He addresses the crowds, “You will be hated by all because of my name…” That doesn’t sound awesome. But then I remember there’s more to that sentence which says, “But not a hair on your head will be destroyed.” What reassurance the Lord gives us that although we may be hated by the world and others in our lives, He will see to it that no harm is done to us.
Another part of the Gospel that can be difficult to read is, “Remember you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you wisdom in speaking.” Although that sounds lovely, it is incredibly difficult to remember in times of trial that that Lord has our back even when we are before “kings and governors” because of His name. Words do not come easily to me, especially when I am in a moment of tension or conflict, so this point can be so difficult to trust. However, if we believe that He will see to it that not a hair on our head is destroyed, then surely He will allow His Holy Spirit to guide us in our words when defending His truth.
Have you ever had that encounter with feeling persecution for your faith? I know I received some comments in my past: “You’re way too religious…” or “How are you still a Catholic especially with all of the craziness in the Church right now?!” And to be honest, I wanted to not be nervous when I heard or was asked things similar to those remarks, but I have been sheepish and anxious of how to answer. What if we lived with conviction and confidence that when we speak of the Gospel message, or when we try to be Christ to someone in need the wisdom and words will come to us. What if we went into any conflict or tension remembering that not a hair on our head will be destroyed? Confidence in Christ like that can change our hearts and bring change to the world around us, we have only to trust and be open to His guidance.
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 I trust that the Lord will not allow any harm to come to me? Do I trust that God has my back at all times?
How do I react in moments of conflict or persecution?
What do I feel the Holy Spirit convicted me of and inviting me to share with those around me?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in You."
"Give me the words to speak."
"Holy Spirit, guide 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?
The holidays can be a joyful time but also a time marked by some tough conversations. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance as you strive to share to love of Christ with your family this holiday season.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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