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).
My brother and I have an interesting relationship, though I suppose it isn’t unlike a classical little brother/older brother relationship. For one thing, he seemingly beats me in every single sport, but that’s okay because I beat him in every single video game. Also, we speak almost exclusively in quotes from movies like it is a second language, so that’s a bizarre thing about us. And yes, while we might let each other down and annoy and fight with each other more than we should, that doesn’t change the fact that we are brothers, and that I will always be able to call him my brother.
In reading today’s Gospel, Jesus, too, invites us to be His brother or sister- in a word, to be a part of His family. It can be tempting to miss this when we’re sorting through the first few lines. You might be saying, “Woah, Jesus had brothers and sisters?” Negatory. But what He is trying to illustrate for all those present is that His brothers and sisters, those who are a part of His family, the family of God, are those who do the will of the Father. He wants to flesh out that we are not just something, but someone, a person who is known and loved by God and called into so intimate a relationship with Him that we might address one another as brother and sister.
This is the love that God has for us. It is not cold and calculated. It is not concerned with empty show and meaningless dry actions. It is a love that dynamically draws us in like a family member, accepting all of our flaws and mistakes and challenges us to grow beyond them, all while supporting and being there for us along our falls on the way. If you are tempted to view the quality of your faith based on what you can do for God, that’s probably not the healthiest way to look at things. If you can instead be firm in your identity as part of a family, as intimately connected to the kinship of the divine family of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then from there you have received your qualification, not by any of your own doing, but by what He has done for you. That is what inspires us to want to live for God and to love Him with our whole hearts. That is the disposition from which we should want to know, love, and serve Him; not to just keep tabs or check off our holiness list, but to stir within a hearts a great love for and devotion to the one who so loves and is devoted to us.
So today, pray with this familial notion. Ask God for the grace to see yourself as part of a family. Are there ways you struggle to see God as your Father, that you are part of the family of God? Pray over this with the Lord today and allow His sacred words to once again penetrate your own heart: “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father, he is my brother, sister, and mother”.
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 being part of a family mean for me? How do I experience and give love in my own family?
How do I make my faith about doing things to appease God rather than being his adopted son or daughter?
How do I struggle to see myself as part of God's family? What are the wounds that I have experienced in my earthly family, which God desires to heal, that get in the way of being part of God's family?
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 a child of God."
"I seek to do your will."
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?
Prayerfully put together a list of experiences you have with your earthly family: the good, the bad, the ugly. Then take time to pray through that list and see where and how those experiences can or have related to your relationship with the Lord. For the good, give thanks that God Fathers you with so much love. For the bad, invite the Lord to come and heal you and your family so you may better image the love of God.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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.