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).
“Do not love this world or the things of this world.” When I hear this, I think it can cause confusion, especially if we are new to walking daily with Christ. We might be confused because we have been told that we need to love our neighbor, which includes all those in our lives, even those who we disagree with. This is an unbelievably radical and difficult call, but that’s what Christ calls us to. So now when we hear St. John telling us to not love this world is seems completely contrary to what Christ calls us to in Matthews Gospel. What, then, exactly is John saying?
It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in the things of this world. The key word in this being, “things.” We live in an incredibly materialistic and self-centered society that is constantly telling us we need things, or rather we need to live a certain way to be happy. Humanity has been like this since original sin. We attempt to satisfy all our needs with the things of this world, which will only satisfy us for a short time and inevitably leave us wanting more. What we all struggle to recognize is that happiness - genuine, real, happiness - can only be found in living out God’s will for us.
I think for many of us who have become exhausted from the constant stress of keeping up perfect appearances on social media, or burned out from juggling sports, clubs, hanging out with friends, while still trying to get good grades and finding time to pray; the idea of giving our lives over to God can seem impossible or asking too much. However, what you will find in saying no to the things of this world and yes to God is not stress or anxiety, but rather the opposite: peace. When we are doing the will of God and allowing ourselves to be filled with His grace, we begin to see clearly how the thing so this world were only half measures of what we desired. Our God does not do halfway, He does abundance. With the New Year just around the corner, what you should be desiring for this next year is abundant happiness and peace ,which you can only have through a relationship with Jesus Christ. So ask yourself, “Do I want to continue to buy into what the world is offering me and leaving myself feeling half filled, or do I desire abundance?”
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 do you seek to try to fill the desires of your heart? Why?
How can surrendering it all to God change your life?
What specifically do you need to hand over to God this new year?
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 am all Yours, Lord."
"Jesus, I trust in You."
"Come Holy Spirit."
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?
Make a new New Years Resolution this year. Make a resolution to give it all to God. Instead of trying to let things satisfy your heart, let the Lord satisfy you this year. Give this whole new year to Him.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN. If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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