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).
In today's Gospel, we see Jesus returning to his hometown. I imagine Jesus coming back and being with his old friends and townspeople. He is older now, and has come into His years of ministry. He is preaching and teaching people.
Now, we know that Jesus is a super big deal and is teaching people the way of truth and love. So, one would imagine that in His hometown - of all places - He would be praised and exalted. The Son of God is from their town! But instead of being over-the-moon excited and turning towards Him, they respond with a very skeptical: "Really?" Collectively, the people could not believe that the man they knew would be capable of the mighty deeds being performed. They couldn't see past the ordinary, and they became defensive. They might have been thinking: Who do you think you are? We have seen you every day. You are just like us; we know your mom! And now, all of the sudden, you are proclaiming the kingdom of God and casting out demons?
Jesus may have seemed so ordinary as He was growing up, but in that ordinary lies the extraordinary. Their "really?" made them miss it. How often do we overlook beautiful things because we have an idea in our head of what it should look like? Jesus wasn't exactly what everyone expected in a Savior, and Alleluia for that! He is so much better than anything any human could imagine.
Often times, we cannot see past what we see with our eyes, and we doubt that God will be able to do something amazing with our lives. We see the ordinary, and we have a difficult time trusting that God will use our ordinary and make it extraordinary. In so many of our lives, the place we find most difficult to live out our faith is in our very own homes. Our family members and friends do not understand how we are different or how Jesus has touched our lives. We come back from retreats or missions to our "native places" and find people who think, "Really? Aren't you the same girl or guy from before? How come all of the sudden you need to pray all the time? Or who are you to tell me about living my life?"
But, take heed: Jesus is with us. He is calling us to have faith and to embrace the extraordinary, no matter what it looks like. It might be hard - especially, at times, in our homes - but He is there with us, urging us towards His heart and desperately wanting to share the gifts He has prepared for us. Let's not miss out on what God wants to share. Let's strengthen our faith so that when we ask that question: "really?," our hearts will respond: "Yes! Really!"
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 some of the ordinary places where you are most challenged in your life?
What are some of the ordinary, seemingly mundane moments in life where you are most reminded of God's presence?
How can you do a better job today and this week of turning your life over to the Lord and letting Him take the ordinary and make it extraordinary?
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 give You the ordinary."
"Make my life extraordinary."
"I trust in You, Lord."
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?
Before you do some ordinary task(s) today, invite God into that moment. Maybe it's before opening your phone, seeing a friend, or doing a chore around the house; whatever it is, pause before you do and invite God to take that ordinary moment and make it extraordinary as you do it for His glory.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.