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).
As much as rules may be annoying, it is honestly way easier to just follow a set of rules than to go above and beyond. That is what I immediately think of after reading today's Gospel.
Now before I go anywhere with this, I want to make it super clear, I am not saying we shouldn't follow rules, especially the rules of God! They are good and help us to act in a way that makes us better people. What I am saying is that simply following rules isn't enough.
The Pharisees were notorious for being the best "rule followers" around. They new every letter of every law, and used it to make themselves seem and feel superior to everyone else. They took the laws that were supposed to help us stay away from sin and evil, and turned them into a source of one of the greatest sins - Pride.
So when there was a man in serious need, the Pharisees cared more about which day Jesus helped this man, rather than the well-being of their brother. We often fall into this as well. We get an opportunity to truly help someone in need, and we find some law or reason not to; and we actually think of ourselves as better for doing so.
God gave us some pretty simple rules to live by and they are necessary to properly dispose our souls to get to heaven. Those rules are good and if we are truly following them, they will lead us to do good, not to just make excuses. There is always time to do good. God gave us these rules so that we could love better, so anytime we are authentically "loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves," we intrinsically will be following the laws of God.
So... know the laws of God so that you can always check to see if you truly are following Him, but also do more - do good.
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 ever get so caught up in the letter of the law that you forget to actually love? How can you change that?
How can you learn to balance following the law, but not letting it be a source of pride or an excuse not to do more?
How can you do more good in the world today?
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.
"You are good."
"Thank you Jesus."
"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?
Do good today. Be on the lookout for opportunities to do more than what is expected or required to help someone who really does need your help. Don't just do the bare minimum, do more, and do it whether anyone else ever finds out or not.
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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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