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).
Did you know that in Ancient Rome it was better to be adopted than born to your parents? At that time, it was common thought that if you were born to your parents, they didn’t choose you. They didn’t have to keep the baby. It was common practice to take children who weren’t considered right in some way and remove them from the home. Most of the time that meant literally throw them away at the town dump.
But if you were adopted, you were chosen by your parents. You were picked above everyone else to have a place in their home. They couldn’t ever get rid of you because they have chosen you.
Today, Jesus is claiming us at His siblings. At our baptism, we are named as God’s adopted son or daughter. Why adopted? Because God looks at us and chooses us. He chooses us just as we are, imperfections and all. We are God’s children.
Jesus reinforces this in today’s Gospel. Whoever does the will of the Father is His sibling. Not only are we children of God, but we are brothers and sisters of Christ! What a wonderful gift we have to be part of God’s family.
As I’m sitting here praying about being part of God’s family I am a little intimidated. God the Father is our Dad. Mary, conceived without sin is our Mom. Jesus who gave His life for me is my brother. That’s a lot. But as I imagine conversation at the dinner table, “Hey Dad I got an 78% on a math test today.” “Hey Mom, I sent an email out to the wrong list and it went to 500 people it wasn’t supposed to.” “Hey Jesus, I tripped at school and fell in front of my entire gym class.” The response I keep getting in my heart is: you are my child. I have chosen you. I love you and I will never love you anymore or any less. Follow me.
Change the scene from today’s Gospel. You’re in your high school cafeteria sitting with Jesus. His friends come by and say “Jesus come sit with us.” Jesus answers, “that’s ok. Today I am sitting with [your name here], my sister/brother.” What would that be like? How would it feel to have Jesus choose you, bad hair, pimply face, nerdiness, jerkiness, whatever you are struggling with in high school and all? Jesus, the savior of the world, tells everyone you are His sibling.
Jesus chose you. God the Father chose you. Mary chose you. Will you embrace yourself as part of God’s family?
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 would you say to Jesus if you were at the lunch table with Him after He just claimed you as His brother or sister? What would it feel like to sit face-to-face with your Savior?
Will you let this encounter with Christ change you today? Will you listen to what Christ, your brother and king, has to say to you? Will you listen to His love and mercy?
Will you allow yourself to accept that you are wanted by God, not just as a friend, but family? Will you love God back as the Father's child and sibling of Christ in union with the Holy Spirit?
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.
"You chose me."
"I love You."
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?
Sit down in a quiet place and really put yourself into a situation where you are sitting face-to-face with Jesus. Have a conversation with Him. Ask Him whatever questions are burdening your heart. Thank Him for bringing you into His family and for His merciful love. Really encounter Christ today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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