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)
Most of the time, I’m convinced that my faith has to be big in order for it to mean something. Often, I think what that means for me is that my faith must feel big. If my faith doesn’t feel big enough that I’m confident that God has the power to tackle the big problems of this world and of my life, then I must not have much faith.
And often, that leads to a lot of fear in my heart. Because the truth is, I don’t always feel like I believe that God has the power to end world hunger or achieve world peace or abolish racism and hatred. I don’t always feel like I believe that He has the power to convert my atheist parents or take care of my big financial problems or heal this wounded relationship that is causing me pain. I don’t even always feel like I believe He has the power to overcome the little, seemingly insignificant problems that plague my day today!
But Jesus’ parable in the Gospel passage for today speaks hope in the midst of the hopelessness and fear that my small faith can make me feel. Because Jesus doesn’t ask for us to have a faith that feels big. A mustard seed, the smallest of all the seeds, is the size faith He asks of us. That takes a lot of the pressure off, don’t you think?
All that Jesus asks of us is to plant that little faith in our hearts -- He’ll do the rest. He’ll water it, give it sunlight, make it grow. He’ll cultivate that faith in our hearts until it’s big enough for us to pray boldly and confidently for the bigger problems that we each face in life.
He doesn’t ask us for the courage to climb a mountain this day. He asks us for the courage to climb a little hill. So in the words of C.S. Lewis, “Courage, dear heart.” Our God is bigger than any mountain we face, even if our faith today feels smaller than the smallest mustard seed.
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 are the problems you are praying for and trying to conquer today?
What seeds of faith do you see God planting in your heart and in your life?
Do you have faith even the size of a mustard seed?
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
"Courage, dear heart."
"Plant faith in my heart."
"You are bigger than any mountain I face."
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?
Take a step back today from all the worries, fears, and problems that plague your heart. Ask the Lord for the gift of faith, even if it's only the size of a mustard seed, and trust that God can and will do a lot even with the littlest seed.
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 Catie Destatte, a Saint Paul's Outreach Missionary at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.