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).
When we encounter these readings about the end of the world, they can initially come across as rather gloom and doom. In our times, I think we see a lot of these wars and insurrections, which Jesus speaks of. He reminds us that this does not necessarily mean the end of the world is coming tomorrow, but he still urges us to remain vigilant until that time. When I read the last verses of today’s Gospel, I picture this crazy battle scene (like something out of the Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia movies). However, some of the biggest battles in our lives are those that cannot be fought with a sword and a shield.
Whether it is politicians and celebrities, or fame and money, we have to fight against the temptation to listen to other people and things in this world that try to distract us and take our gaze away from our true goal - heaven. We often settle for the things of this world because we don’t realize the beauty and goodness that awaits us in heaven. We are far too easily satisfied with this world. We listen to other people and things who claim to be “God,” and let them take the place of God in our hearts. This is precisely what Jesus warns us about in today’s Gospel. He knows that these other things, if we let them rule our hearts, will divide and tear us apart.
This world and this life matters, but it is not all that matters. This world is good and beautiful, but only when there is a heaven to live for does this world matter and have value. Every glimpse of joy in this life is meant to point you to heaven. Every sorrow and suffering in this life is meant to remind you that you were made for heaven, where we will run and not grow weary. There is a bigger place for your heart out there.
Recognize the beauty and goodness of this world, but look forward to heaven with expectant hope.
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 things that distract you from your heavenly goal?
How do the battles of this time make you feel? How can you give those feelings to the Lord and trust Him in the midst of it all?
How can you live in this world and not let the sorrows and distractions hold you down?
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 am made for heaven."
"Jesus, I trust in you!"
"Jesus has conquered death."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Set heaven as your number one goal today. Take some time to look at the priorities in your life and make sure they all will ultimately get you to heaven.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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