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).
After much thought and some deep soul searching, I had to admit to myself recently that I have become one of those guys who will watch the same show over and over and over. It's a little embarrassing to admit it, because I’m not even talking about regular re-watches like The Office or Parks and Rec. Oh no, my friends; my Netflix re-watch craving can only be satisfied by the majesty and splendor of - you guessed it - The Great British Baking Show. Actually, I guess it might not be that unusual; I wager we all have a show or movie we enjoy watching again where we get to notice new details each time. It helps us stay engaged and connected to what we are doing.
Sometimes I fall into my habits and treat the Gospel the same way. Today's reading for me is the equivalent of yet another rerun of something I have seen a million times. The sermon of the Good Shepherd is after all one of the most famous passages in the entire New Testament, and it can be tempting to write it off as another repeat to be skimmed. But the Gospel today satisfies a hunger that even the wholesome flakey biscuits of The Great British Baking Show can't begin to fill, or answer. A hunger to know Who is God? Who am I? Do I really belong here? What about my friends, my family? If a polite baking show could satisfy any of these questions that keep us up at night, I would skip this whole thing and just post y’all the link.
Instead, this desire leads us back to the Gospel where Jesus says: “I am the Good Shepherd." Not because he is handy sheering sheep and is good at his job does He say this, but because of His love. He lays down His life for us, He knows us, and He does not forget those who have wandered away. Jesus says that “they will hear my voice." We can hear His voice today, no matter how far we may be. The best part is that its not a re-run, it is new, fresh, and alive! The challenge to us today is to invite Jesus into each new season of our life.
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.
In what ways have you started to treat the Gospel as a re-run, as something you already know and something that doesn't have anything new to say to you? How can you fight this temptation in your life?
What does God being your Shepherd mean to you? How is He shepherding you in your life today?
What new things does God want to do in your life today? Take some time to pray with Him and asking Him what it is He wants to begin in your life this day.
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 are my Shepherd."
"You are doing something new."
"Lead me, Lord."
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?
Make a plan for this coming week to do something new in your faith and relationship with the Lord. Maybe you seek to go to daily Mass in the morning before school or work. Maybe you take lunch time to visit the Chapel if you go to a Catholic school, or you simply find some time during your day to pray. Whatever it is, let God do something new this week by seeking Him in a new way.
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 Isaac Weickert, Youth Minister at St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva, IL.