Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Do you ever - like me - notice that you've just become a little bit jaded to something but didn't even realize it? For me, it usually happens when someone brings up a particular thing or event or song or something like that. Without even realizing it, I'll say something very harsh about that thing and shoot it down, and in that moment I'll realize that I have set up some wall against that thing which probably needs to come down.
In today's First Reading from Jeremiah, we hear of Jeremiah the prophet who is being hated by the people. Jeremiah is being genuinely persecuted by these people, and He is going to the Lord and asking for help. For me, that's the first lesson in all of this: He's still going to the Lord! Sometimes, when we get down or are being persecuted for something, we might begin to take that thing to be mad at the thing we're being persecuted for. With our faith, this might mean that when things get difficult and life gets hard, when people mock us, and when people persecute us for our faith we could actually blame God for that and become lukewarm in our faith. In a sense, we could become jaded to God and His work in our life.
Jeremiah does not do that, and you and I ought not to, either. Quite the opposite, in fact; Jeremiah doubles down in faith in what God can do! Jeremiah believes, and begins to pray not simply in hopes that God will protect Him but just for the grace to be there to see God's great work.
There is a lot happening in our world and our lives, and sometimes it can be difficult to stop from begin jaded, angry, or lost. In the midst of all of that, today's reading offers us a chance to trust in the power and strength of our Lord in our lives. Our call is simple: believe that God is strong enough to handle the challenges of our lives, and trust Him in them. Are you and I ready to take that challenge? Today, let's seek to believe that God is enough, and that He will never leave us to fight on our own; He will always be there, fighting in and through us, and in Him we have all that we could ever need.
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.
Have I become jaded to the world? Do I see everything as a fight that needs to be fought on my own?
Am I avoiding persecution because I don't trust that God will be on my side?
Do I trust in the Lord's goodness and mercy enough to defend Him and risk persecution?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"God is on my side."
"I am worth fighting for."
"I trust in you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
This Sunday begins Holy Week. Are you ready? Take a look at your Lenten penances and how the last six or so weeks have been. Think of something you can do to set apart your Holy Week. Maybe that's an extra day of fasting, a week without meat, hours each day without your phone, an extra 15 minutes of daily prayer. Begin today.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.