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).
What an amazing thing Jesus says in today's Gospel passage: God loves you, and cares for you, so stop worrying.
For my anxious mind, this is a hard thing to grasp and an even harder thing to truly live. I find myself more often than I'd like to admit worried about this thing or the next, big things and small, just wondering how it's all going to work out. And yet Jesus is really clear: this sort of worry is not of God.
When Jesus says this, he doesn't mean stop taking care of your problems, and he doesn't mean that if you struggle with anxiety you're a sinner. No, what Jesus is doing, rather, is reminding us of the promise of the Father. What is this promise? The promise of the Father is that you and I are loved beyond all measure no matter what we say or do. The promise of the Father is that we have been saved from the condemnation and death we deserve by the free gift of the Son and given new life in the Holy Spirit. The promise of the Father is ultimately that we are now made heirs to the great throne of heaven where we will join with the angels and saints for all of eternity.
Of course, that promise is something that we work out in our lives by learning more and more to trust in the goodness and the promise of the Father. And so, likely, we'll still worry. But with the Lord's help, slowly, that worry will turn from totally overwhelming worry to a slight anxiety. And then that might turn to a knowledge of the things that are to come which may at times cloud our mind but is not too much to handle. And from there we may learn to set aside the concerns of the day in order to truly sit at the feet of the Lord and listen.
This is going to look different for each of us – for some, this process may be rapid, for others it may take a long time. Some of us may learn to trust the Lord in the midst of our anxiety through prayer, others through friendship, others through counseling, and others through going for long and peaceful bike rides. Whatever the method, our ability to turn over that worry to the Lord because we believe in his promise and invite him in to each moment is the call for each of us. Not to just ignore our problems or not doing anything about our challenges, but to trust the Lord in the midst of it all and know that, despite how difficult it may seem, we are loved, we are seen, and we have a God in heaven who is constantly working for our 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.
What are the things looming that stop you from focusing on what the Lord is doing right now? How have you entrusted those worries and anxieties to him?
How do you turn over the worries and anxieties of day to day life to Jesus? What does that relationship of trust and confidence in him look like for you?
In what ways is God calling you today to entrust to him things that you've been trying to hold on to yourself, knowing that his love and his promises are true?
What are the promises God wants to speak to you right now? Pause in silence and let him speak to your heart about his love, his faithfulness, and his truth.
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."
"My life is yours, Lord."
"You are my peace."
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?
If things are worrying you today, find some time to spend time in silence with the Lord and then to talk to someone who can help – a parent, a sibling, a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, etc. Enter into the things that are on your heart and let God bring you peace in the midst of those things.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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