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 you love me?
A question that defines so many of the relationships in our lives. We are made by love and for love. Even if we would never think to ask it, or even consciously think about it, this question drives the way we relate to one another. We desire to have the people in our lives love us. It is natural and healthy. It is normal, it is what we are made for. What we do for that love, that is where we fall off track. We waste so much time chasing what we think is love and settle for even less. We desire love from others, but ultimately we only need God’s love, and that is freely given, never earned or achieved. We just simply need to receive it and cooperate with it. If we say we want God’s love, yet we cut Him out of our lives on Friday and Saturday night, are we really open to His love? It may sound like Peter needs to “feed Christ’s sheep” to receive His love, but that’s not the case. Jesus loved Peter the same either way, this is all about Peter’s love for Him… And love is an action, a choice, not just a feeling.
There is another layer to this reading as well. What kind of love do we desire? In English, we have one word for love – love. In many other languages, there are multiple words for love describing different types of love. Jesus asks Peter twice if he has agape love (complete and sacrificial love in Greek) for Him. Peter responded twice that he had philio love (affection for or friendship/brotherly love in Greek) for Him. The third-time Jesus met Peter where he was at and asked if Peter had philio love for Him. In this moment Peter realized that he was chasing and living the wrong kind of love. He responded again “I ‘philio’ you,” however, I believe this is the moment he began to chase agape love instead. What kind of love are you chasing and what kind of love are you responding with? Christ will meet you where you are at, but let’s not settle. Let’s be courageous like Saint Peter and learn the value of real love – of agape love.
Do you love me? Do I love you? And what kind of love do we really have for each other? This defines our relationships with others and with God. Let us choose to truly love and no longer settle for anything less than the best.
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.
Who in your life has shown you glimpses of this agape love? How is it different from the other types of love in your life?
What kind of love are you chasing? Even if you want to be chasing agape love, do your actions back that up? Why or why not?
How can we learn to receive God's love and respond to it, instead of trying to earn it? What do you think the differences are?
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 will follow you Lord."
"And the greatest of these is love."
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?
Stop chasing lesser loves. Spend some time in Adoration if possible, and be with the one who truly loves. Take time to receive that love today, so you can respond and feed His sheep tomorrow.
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, Youth Minister at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, IL.