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).
"See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them!"
In our time, there is a rise in the number of new churches being built everywhere. These churches are usually buildings with a stage, built to accommodate a large number of people and a band, loud music, dancing, and a very charismatic preacher. Even in our own Liturgy as Catholics, there is a great temptation for the priest to be the superstar at Mass and sometimes, in the name of evangelization, even the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not given what is due it: latria, the sheer adoration and worship due to God. Because of this, people themselves are confused or get upset when the priest does not walk around the church when he preaches, does not tell funny jokes like the other priest, or when he does not go down the pews to shake peoples' hands during the sign of peace. Sad to say, some people were given gifts and use them for their own ambition rather than pointing back to the Giver of the gifts.
Jesus said, “Do not follow them!”
“See that you not be deceived,” Jesus said.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the sacrifice of Jesus, not the person of the priest. The priest is a servant of the Mass, not a paid actor. We the people are worshippers of God, not a paying audience that needs to be entertained. We all have a vital role to walk together and adore in unison the main object of our worship, God Himself.
In our desire to give ourselves to the Lord, He warns us from the danger of following the wrong person and committing idolatry. We need to make the distinction between Him and those He has called to proclaim Him. We are not Peterites (followers of Peter), we are not Paulists (followers of Paul), we are not Johnists (followers of John), we are CHRISTIANS!
We follow Christ and His Gospel that leads to eternal life.
Today, let us pray for our priests that they may decrease and the Lord Jesus may increase in everything that they say and do. Today, let us pray for ourselves that we may only follow Christ in everything that we say and do.
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.
When you go to Mass, what are you there for? How do you view the priest and your participation in the Mass?
How can you be of better support to the Sacrifice of the Mass and to the priests in your parish? In what ways can your heart be more present to Jesus at Mass?
What are some of the false teachers that you have let yourself follow? Whether they were in the Church, the media, school, or anywhere else, why were you tempted to follow someone other than Jesus? How can you purify your own heart and mind to point always to Christ?
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 will follow You alone."
"I believe in You."
"You are my true Teacher."
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?
Today, set aside special time to pray for your priests or make some act of fasting or sacrifice for them. As you do this, pray that they may lead people to Christ and the people may be receptive in following their leadership.
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 Fr. Ervin Caliente, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.