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: Mediatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Jesus is always really good at taking our nice, neat plans and systems and shifting them entirely. Today's Gospel is certainly an example of that.
As we begin reading today's Gospel, we hear some very difficult, pretty harsh, and yet understandable words from Jesus. It makes sense to us that Jesus wants us to be sure we don't lead others into sin, and it would've to His followers as well. In response, the apostles seem to know that through their action or inaction at some point in their lives they will lead a person to sin. And so, worried about what that means but longing to follow Jesus' words, they ask for more faith.
What is faith?
We probably have all kinds of ideas of what faith is, and many of them are quite right and beautiful. Jesus, in the Gospel we have today, seems to take faith out of the normal context we place it in, which is something of the mind or the heart, and move it to something that is active and powerful in a different, tangible way. The apostles are just hoping to be able to believe Jesus' words and to live the forgiveness He called them to; Jesus tells them that if their faith was real, they'd be able to command even the mountains.
When he was pope, Pope Benedict XVI talked extensively about the gift of faith as something that is real and tangible and puts me into relationship with God, with the One who gives me true hope and assurance. He would explain that faith is not some sort of jump into the unknown, but it is a movement wherein we encounter the doubt and the trial that is constantly before us in the world and we hold tangibly to the God who invites us to a relationship and then we move forward in faith.
I think that Jesus's words, which take faith out of the theoretical world and into the physical, tangible world, remind us that if our faith is true faith, there is nothing beyond the realm of possibility. All of the created world is ruled by the Lord, the God who we worship, the One in whom we have faith. In Him, we have power even over creation, for this faith allows us to be in relationship with God and find in Him ultimate assurance and hope.
Even more than the physical world, though, faith is a gift of the heart. It is with faith that we can trust. It is in faith that we hope. It is through faith that we forgive.
All in all faith is a gift, and by the gift of faith we come to know the Lord and see the power that HIs love and His presence brings to our lives.
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 does faith mean to you? How can you better nurture and allow the gift of faith given to you to grow?
How have you seen your faith lead God's power to manifest itself in your life? What are some moments, even if you didn't notice it when it happened?
In what ways is God calling you to trust Him more, to give more of your heart to Him, and to know He has plans for your life that are good?
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.
"Give me faith."
"I believe, help my unbelief."
"I choose to have faith today."
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?
Take time today to pray and entrust to God real, practical things in your life. From major global conflicts to small tests you are worried about, entrust each thing to God and have faith that He hears and will answer with what is best.
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, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.