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).
Today’s gospel gives us the message of forgiveness. We must forgive like Christ forgives us.
I was recently thinking about people I admired. People who made me not just be a better person, but who challenged me to be an extraordinary person. I thought of my friend Annie and a small but profound story. She came back from Europe and bought this great buff headband, it was small and not incredibly expensive, but it had a great story behind it and she wore it daily. I asked to borrow it one day and sure enough I lost it. I came to her with my head hanging low seeking disapproval. I rambled on and on about how sorry I was and that I would pay her whatever she asked for and when I was finished with my plea she simply said, “it’s okay, it’s OKAY”. I then rambled more about how I would find it and she responded with, “if you find it great and if you don’t I’m better without it”.
This was an extraordinary act of mercy. It would have been perfectly appropriate for her to have had me pay her back or give her something of mine, that would have been expected. But she, through the grace of God, imitating Christ recognized my sorrow and not just forgave me but said she was better off without it. I not only learned a valuable lesson about how to forgive freely in everyday life but also how to be so unattached that if someone any loss is actually a gain and can draw me closer to Christ if my perspective is that of Christ.
I pray for the strength to carry this attitude everywhere I go. It is far better to forgive than to cling so tightly to what has offended us.
Another story I want to share is about my Dad. He wronged our family in more ways than I can write down. For so long I just kept sitting around at a far distance from him, I was waiting for him to apologize and to acknowledge all the ways he had wronged me. After 5 years I began to realize what a waste of time this was and that Jesus was calling me to be extraordinary and to not wait around for others to come to me but like Christ to show mercy to those who have wronged us. I wrote him a long letter recalling all the good he did and I did not even mention the bad. This act of love changed our relationship forever. He was so touched and felt so free and I never demanded him to recall his wrongs but they were conquered by love.
So today I challenge you to forgive someone who has wronged you and or to recall a time when you have wronged someone else and seek out forgiveness and the Lord will be that much more merciful on you, because Lord knows we will all screw up sooner or later. Jesus, may we be extraordinary and forgive like you!
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.
Have you ever been radically forgiven? What was that like? How did it make you feel?
Have you ever radically forgiven someone? How did that impact your life?
Who might you be calling to forgive?
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.
"Forgive me Lord."
"Help me forgive others."
"Let me forgive radically."
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?
Pray about the people in your life. Is there anyone that you know you have wronged and you need to ask for forgiveness? Is there anyone you need to forgive? Ask the Lord to help you seek forgiveness today.
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 Jen Mason, the LifeTeen Mission Trip Coordinator for group missions to Haiti.