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).
I tend to be a pretty blunt person. It isn’t often that I beat around the bush or hint at things without simply saying what I mean outright. It can be a good thing to communicate so clearly, but it can also be a difficult thing when you need to be more careful with your words. Maybe you’re like me, or maybe you’re the opposite— you don’t always come out and say what you mean but you like to allude to it and help bring people to a place of understanding. If you’re like this, you have something in common with Jesus in today’s Gospel.
If there could be a face-palm Jesus emoji, I think today’s Gospel passage would be an appropriate time to use it. Here Jesus is on a boat with his disciples, presumably about to eat some food, when the disciples notice that they only have one loaf of bread. Jesus, knowing what they were going to say about this big oversight, decides to warn them against despairing over having only one loaf. The disciples, as it is often throughout scripture and even our own lives, don’t understand exactly what Jesus is saying to them. Here comes the face-palm!
Jesus asks a series of questions, none of them blunt and outright like I would communicate, but each to help his disciples understand the glory of who Jesus is. The same Jesus who fed a total of 9,000 people (with baskets of food leftover) with only a total of twelve loaves of bread, now has disciples who are worried about sharing one loaf among a few people on a boat. How often do we do the same thing! We know the great works of God, we know what he’s done over history to love and bring his people abundance, but yet we doubt he is able to provide for us. Today the words of Jesus echo in my own heart, “Do you still not understand?”
Jesus is teaching us (or reteaching us) something important today. He is our provider and he will never fail us. He reminds us time and again of his greatness, and more importantly his abundant love for us, because we continue to forget and doubt. Today, understand what he is saying to you— he is provider and he loves you; trust in him.
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.
Where are you providing for me in my life today?
What doubts do I have about your love for me?
How are you calling me to trust more in your provision and love for me?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Thank you for providing for me."
"Help me understand your love for me."
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?
Look at the places God is currently providing for you: health, family, friends, material goods, etc. Take time to thank God for his provision for you. If you can, find a way to give to someone who is in need more than you, whether it's through a conversation, giving of your goods, or even a kind smile.
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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.