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).
Earlier this summer, I helped with a church camp for little kids. There were 150 of them in one large room at the parish and as you can imagine it go t a little crazy, (I think I gave away 100+ bandaids for picked mosquito bites and scraped knees). As little kids do (and big kids too) there were several arguments this week. “She took my snack.” “He’s on the swing I want to be on.” “He said I was dumb.” And so on… what I kept saying to these little kids as they brought me their troubles, worries and skirmishes is that your words matter. Your actions matter. And what you do has consequences.
This small lesson is critical for these little ones to learn and let’s be real, many of us bigger people could use a lesson on this again. This is what Jesus is telling us in today’s gospel.
In the parable, there are the good seeds and the seeds that have been led away by the evil one. The seeds that have followed the Lord will spend eternity with Him. The seeds that have found their path with the evil one will spend their eternity in hell.
I think in today’s culture we’ve watered this down. “Hell is only a place for the really, really bad people. God doesn’t send people to hell.” Using today’s Gospel, we can files these thoughts under #thingsjesusneversaid
Hell is a reality, and hell is a place with the absence of God. If you don’t know God in this life, why would you choose to be with Him for eternity?
I am no judge of people’s hearts, minds or souls. Only God can do that. But I am aware of the reality that we do either choose to follow the Lord or turn our back on Him. That is way our words matter. Our actions matter. How we choose to live has very real consequences both in this life and the next. And the more we turn our back on God, the easier it gets to turn from him in the future.
So what do we do? Take Jesus' teaching to heart - not out of fear but for love of the Lord and our desire to be with Him. Go to Mass. Make frequent confession. Spend time with the Lord in prayer and tell others. Bring others to Christ because you know the truth. You know there are two ways this could go, so share that knowledge and love of the Lord with others. (And I don’t mean standing on the street corner with a sign saying hell is real like some people on my college campus. I mean real, genuine evangelization about how Christ has chosen us and now we must choose him.)
Our words matter. Our actions matter. How we live matters. Will you choose the Lord today?
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 have my actions, recent and past, affected my relationship with the Lord?
Knowing the consequences of my actions, how am I choosing the Lord every day?
Do I think hell is real? How can I become more aware of the reality of hell and choose to love the Lord?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplation
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.
"Help me choose you, Lord."
"Let me be among the good seed."
"I trust in you, Jesus."
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?
Take stock of your life today. Ask the Lord to reveal to you more of the consequences of your actions today- ask him to help show you the good and the bad and rejoice in the good!
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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