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).
I recently decided to take a break from social media because lately I have found myself bogged down by all the hatred and division that was filling my social media feeds. Maybe you have experienced or seen similar division and unrest whether on social media or at the grocery store or even in your own home. This experience can be disheartening, especially in a time where we are already feeling pretty isolated.
When we believe in something so fully, we are willing to do whatever it takes to defend it, whether it is our faith or favorite sports team or a larger sociopolitical issue. There is something certainly right about defending what we believe in, but not if it comes at the expense of losing sight of the dignity of the person on the other side.
The past couple of months, I have taken some time to read books or articles by people who I know I ideologically disagree with. While I have certainly found myself frustrated at some of the things they say that I disagree with, I have gained a new perspective on where these people are coming from and why they wholeheartedly believe what they do. I’m reminded that they are human, just like I am.
God does not just give to some of us; He gives to all of us. As we read in today’s Gospel, God’s generosity may not always seem fair or equal, but God never loses sight of our humanity even in the midst of our sinfulness. While He deeply desires for us to love Him and follow His Church, there is nothing we can say or think or do that will ever cause Him to think less of us, and when we stumble or fall, His mercy is always there waiting for each of us to return, even the seemingly worst sinner.
As we navigate the crazy and troubled times that we are currently living in, I pray that we never lose sight of the dignity of the person on the other side of the screen, or next to us in line, or living under the same roof as us. I pray that we strive to see the best in others, not the worst. I pray that we continue to give generously and show mercy even when it doesn’t seem deserved. The Father’s heart knows no bounds, and I pray our hearts do not either.
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.
Where have I seen division lately? What has been my response?
How do I show people that I care for them and respect them?
How can I practice generosity and show mercy to the people I encounter?
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.
"Open my heart, Lord."
"Lord, have mercy."
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?
Be intentional today in showing others love, mercy, and respect, especially those people that you disagree with or have a hard time getting along with.
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 Maggie Super, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.