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).
What makes a good magician? Quick sleight of hand. Shock value. Manipulation of a situation. Jesus is not a magician. Nowhere in the gospel does Jesus try to trick anyone, and in the gospel today He is exceptionally straightforward about what it means to follow Him. He knows that His time is coming to lay down His life and anyone who follows Him will share in that great sacrifice.
Our hearts long to give ourselves to something great. We want to matter. We want to be fulfilled. When we see Jesus, the love He shares, and His deep dedication to the Father we long to cry out to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Our Lord longs to hear those words, but only after we see clearly where He is going. He is on His way to die an excruciating death.
Jesus shares with these zealous people calling out to Him that in this world the Son of Man has nowhere to rest. We, as Christians, must be willing to accept and love the reality that this also is not our home. It’s hard to accept that. We have attachments to our family, to our work and to our future. We aren’t called to reject those things, but to put them in their proper place, which is below our Lord. If He asks you to move to a faraway college, to discern a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, or even something as simple as asking you to be actively kind to someone you have a hard time liking, we should run to follow Him. They are each great sacrifices in their own right. They are uncomfortable and sometimes lonely. Jesus allows us to feel a tiny bit of His cross which was most definitely uncomfortable and extremely lonely.
We could chalk all of these things up to being a noble cause of painful sacrifice, but that isn’t where we should stop. It isn’t where Jesus stopped. If we follow Jesus to the cross, we will also follow Him beyond the cross. Jesus calls us to be with Him in the heavenly paradise. He prepares the way for us in the place that will allow us to rest our heads perfectly forever. This place we are called to is one of joy and fulfillment. The sacrifices that you make, you could dwell on, or you could say yes and smile deeply in great confidence that the sacrificial yes is but a yes to eternal communion with the God who has loved you since the beginning of time.
Jesus calls you to follow Him today. He calls you to see clearly what it is that you are attached to, and to give Him all of your heart. It isn’t easy, but it is all worth it. Don’t look back. Look forward, through the pain, further than the pain. Rest awaits 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.
Will you follow Jesus to the cross? Are you prepared to give things up or change your life?
If you said Jesus, I want to follow you but.... what would that but be?
How can you work through the but so that you do follow Jesus with no reservations?
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 will follow you."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Lead me Jesus."
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?
Today, Jesus is going to give you plenty of opportunities to follow Him. From staying away from gossip, to saying grace at lunch. How will you follow Him 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 Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.