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).
Have you ever been in a funk and you can’t quite put your finger on the reason? I was having an off day this week and could have used a good talk with an old friend who understands me. I scrolled through my phone debating which friend to talk through my thoughts with, but all of the sudden I stopped, put my phone down and started to pray. It was totally God’s grace helping me out on that one. Yes, it is nice to chat with someone who knows me well, with an issue or problem, but wanting to hash out my thoughts with the Lord was not my first thought- and I don't think I am alone in that. But, I want to first be encouraged my His words, so that I can distinguish His voice speaking through my conversations!
Today’s first reading lit me up in the way a dynamic conversation with a trusted friend might. Paul is exhorting us today to remain sober and awake, rather than to fall asleep in our faith journey with Christ. How convicting is the last line in the first reading which says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.” (1 thes. 5:11). Here is the question: if we have lots of friends or people in our lives, or thousands of followers on social media, do we have people who encourage and build us up? If your answer is “no,” don’t go dumping people in your life, but be convicted that the Lord has destined you to be in Heaven with Him, and He does give us people to cheer us on along that path, if we ask Him! He wants us to be awake and pursue virtue as much as we can, and having one or two solid Catholic friends in our lives will encourage us to get to know Christ intimately. I had a season of life where I was praying everyday for a friend who would encourage me in my walk with Christ, because Lord knows I can lean towards being lazy when it comes to being His Disciple. After some praying and waiting, I now have a solid few friends who do just that. The Sacraments can become more animated when we can share about the Lord’s power through them with a friend. Church teachings become exciting when we can discuss and seek answers with a companion.
Have you been blessed by amazing Christian friends that can help you carry your daily crosses, or is that type of relationship something you are sorely desiring? St. Paul also reminds us today that we are all, “children of the light,” and as children of the light, let us hold fast to the truth that Christ does encourage us and in turn gives us power, conviction, and purpose, in our Baptismal call, to encourage those who may dwell in darkness. Let His words build us up, and in turn let us take His truth and give Him glory by building one another up. Not just “some” of us are called children of the light and Truth, but all!
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.
How often do I turn to the Lord when I am feeling off or having a difficult time? How can I do this more?
How is my community helping lead me closer to the Lord?
In what ways am I encouraging the friends I have, Christian and not, as St. Paul is calling me to do? What is holding me back?
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.
"Help me trust in you."
"I want to follow you."
"Help me rest in your 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?
Pick one person in your life who needs encouraging and offer them an encouraging text, phone call, or conversation. Build one another up!
Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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.