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’s a problematic way of thinking that Pope Saint John Paul II was not a big fan of. This incorrect way of thinking is often called “The Fundamental Option.” That is, some people wrongly say that each believer makes a fundamental choice, a foundational decision, a once-in-a-lifetime decision to follow Jesus or not to follow Jesus.
If your fundamental option is against Jesus, uh-oh. Look out. Hope you like warm weather. If your fundamental option is for Jesus then there’s really nothing else to worry about. If you’ve made your fundamental choice to follow Christ, then there’s really no such thing as deadly sin. If we make our fundamental option for Jesus, then we can pretty much live as we wish.
But that’s not really how the Christian life goes. The First Letter of John tells us there is such a thing as sin that can kill the soul of the believer (1 John 5:16). We’re also told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) and that many are called, few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).
Clearly, following Jesus is difficult, it’s demanding, it necessitates sacrifice, it requires the Cross. Following Jesus is nothing something we decide to do at our baptism or confirmation or in a significant God-moment. Being is a disciple is something we decide to do each day, in each moment, at each opportunity to accept and cooperate with grace or to turn away and choose ourselves over the God who is peace and love and fulfillment and communion and love.
In today’s Gospel Jesus asks his disciples who He is. We, the modern day, contemporary disciples, answer that question in each choice we make, in every decision we carry out.
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 you believe there's a sin that you can commit that will forfeit your place in Heaven? That there's anything that the Lord can't forgive if you are truly sorry?
Are you prepared to take up your cross to follow the Lord?
When was the last time you went to confession to reconcile yourself to the Lord?
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 love you Lord."
"I want to follow you."
"Here I am Lord."
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 time to go to confession this weekend. Do an examination of conscience and confess those things in your life that have pulled you away from the Lord.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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