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).
In life, certain people have a profound impact on you, so much so they seem to leave a sort of indelible mark on your life. These people shape who you are, what you value, and what you believe about yourself.
I have been grateful to have many like this, but one that shines forth at the moment is my beloved 7th grade religion teacher Sister Maria Kolbe. To keep a long and glowing review short, Sr. Maria was simply the greatest, the first teacher I encountered in my life who was excited about the faith and clearly had a deep relationship with God. Not only that, but she invited me into understanding God’s presence in my own life, continually challenging me in the classroom to go deeper in my relationship with the Lord. Sr. Maria Kolbe was a complete inspiration: someone who completely gave up everything, her life, career, family, friends, and in giving up everything was able to pass along to an awkward 7th grader the most important gift of all: the gift of faith.
When I think of Sr. Maria and others like her in my life, I believe they coincide well with today’s first reading and the saint feast we celebrate today: the feast of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and companions. St. Andrew and his 116 companions were martyrs in Vietnam in the 19th century, each sacrificing their lives rather than renouncing their faith as the Vietnamese government attempted to force them to do.
Today’s first reading from Revelation as well speaks of a great vision of martyrs for the faith, as ones who though they may appear to be beaten down and destroyed are actually in a place of strength, grace, and glory. Like Sr. Maria, like the Vietnamese martyrs, like all martyrs of the faith, we have to be prepared each and every day to give absolutely everything to God and others.
In the face of his martyrdom, St. Andrew penned a letter to the Christian faithful of Vietnam, in it so beautifully stating what lay ahead: “In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone – Christ is with me.” The beauty of St. Andrew and the beauty of martyrdom, whatever that martyrdom looks in your life, is that it signals that not even the worst this world has to offer can defeat us. Because we have hope in Our Risen Lord, we can be the light of faith for others.
What are you willing to leave behind in order to do the will of God? Jesus asks everything of us precisely because He alone can give us everything. Give Him everything, even what is uncomfortable, even if it makes you enemies, even if it is difficult. In giving Him everything, we can experience that same joy and gladness of St. Andrew, the calm certainty that we cannot ever defeated because Jesus is King.
Indeed, no matter what difficult beset us, no matter what the circumstance, we are not alone – Christ is truly with us.
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 you willing to leave behind in order to do the will of God?
If you are honest, what things right now would you not be willing to leave behind to do the will of God? Why do you think those are things you wouldn't be able to leave behind? God might not be asking for those things, but it's a good question to ask and to see what is in the way of our love for God.
In what ways this week are you asking for God's presence in a special way in the face of difficulties and challenges in front of you?
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.
"God, I give you everything."
"You are enough for me."
"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?
Give God something extra today. Instead of watching that one extra Netflix episode, go and help someone around the house. Instead of scrolling through Instagram stories, call a friend who has a positive impact in your life. Instead of Snapchatting for an hour before bed, pray a rosary and give God that time in your day. Whatever it is, give God something in your day that normally you would take to yourself, and begin to make a habit of giving Him more.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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.