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).
Today’s Gospel is the summation of how we are to live as Christians. How cool would it have been to hear Jesus say directly to you that he is your friend? I get goose bumps just thinking about it! Jesus starts and ends the Gospel with the same message – “love one another as I love you.” And this isn’t a suggestion – he commands it!
This means we are to love everyone whether we know them, like them or agree with them.
So, how do I love the girl who insulted me, that guy who just cut me off on the road, that annoying person in my class, that parent who is a little over the top at games, that guy who everyone avoids at work?
Only through God’s grace can you truly love as he asks us to love. And you can only get that grace by building a humble and loving relationship with Him and through the blessed sacraments.
I know this to be true because 5 years ago, I had NO faith. Even though I was Confirmed Catholic, we didn’t practice when I grew up and as an early adult I stopped altogether. But by the grace of God, he found me where I was and lit me on fire. I feel as if He is talking directly to me when He says, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”
(Squirrel moment – he changed me so much that I left my 20-year executive career in corporate America to become an Author and Speaker inspiring people to enrich their lives through faith and prayer.)
So, how do I know this is happening? I can feel it. I can physically, emotionally, spiritually FEEL him change my heart and the more time I spend with Him, the more He increases, and I decrease. It is supernatural, I cannot describe it in English words the joy and love He is building inside me. Let me tell you, it was not overnight, He worked on me for a while.
In the beginning of my faith journey I noticed that I would react to someone quickly and bark out some snide remark and then I would catch myself. I would try to apologize after I already said my horrible thought. But at least I was noticing that I wasn’t loving one another as He loves me.
Then after a few years, I would notice my thought before I said it. I would think to myself, “You know, that person has his own cross he is bearing, be compassionate.” I would stop my comment before I said it, but I still had the thought.
Over the past couple years since I have developed a much deeper relationship with God and the sacraments, He has softened my heart to the point that the unloving thought doesn’t even enter my mind most of the time! And if it does, it is only for a brief moment.
The more time you spend with the Lord building your own, unique loving relationship together, the more He will give you the grace to live as He commands. He will help you love one another - every single person on this planet- as He loves you. And it is a wonderful way to live…
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.
How do you think your life would be richer if you love as God loves? Have you asked him to soften your heart, so you can be the best witness of Jesus?
Knowing that Jesus is your friend, and that He chose YOU, should you be spending more time with Him so you can receive more graces and do more for Him on this earth?
Jesus can you show me ways to love as you love?
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.
“If today I hear God’s voice, harden not my heart.”
“Jesus, please give me the grace to love like you.”
“Jesus, I trust in 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.
Today, spend some time in Adoration with Jesus or go to daily Mass to receive him in the Eucharist. If you do not have Adoration, stop by the church and spend some time in front of the Tabernacle. Just make an effort to physically be with him and ask him to help you love like He loves.
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 Kendra Von Esh, a Speaker and Author, inspiring others to lead with compassion and enrich their lives through faith and prayer.