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).
Right now, as I am writing this, I am still basking in the euphoric joy that washed over me at the exact moment Anthony Rizzo wrapped his mitt around the game-winning throw from Kris Bryant nearly 24 hours ago; a joy that has yet to subside even one bit. All day long, I’ve replayed the game’s roller coaster of highs and lows back in my mind, and marveled and laughed over the same with family and friends. All the while relishing the profound gladness I feel after witnessing the seemingly unattainable feat the Cubs finally achieved last night.
But I can tell you, for me, there is an even greater element at play in my soul today. It has been sustaining a simple, happy contentment in my heart that I have been acutely conscious of since the moment of victory. You see, I confess to you here and now that I prayed for them to win. But, that doesn’t go nearly far enough to describe what I did. The honest truth is I turned to God like a small child and I prayed my HEART OUT in the name of His son Jesus that the Cubs would win the World Series … I would get to see it … and all the people I love who longed for it as bad as I did would get to experience this joy, and more importantly, be spared the spirit-crushing agony of a Cubs post-season loss after such a magical year.
This contentment I’ve been feeling all day springs from the absolute certainty that God answered my prayers. I believe that with every fiber of my being. I suspect that it did not matter to Him that my prayers were, quite honestly, juvenile, selfish and unprofound; I do not think He was deterred in the least. I have been imagining Him lovingly smiling over the untainted honesty that poured out of my heart and into my prayers … and being moved by it.
I feel a tremendous gratitude to Him for affirming my faith. Gratitude that is amplified by two things; first, he affirmed me even though there were MANY moments I faltered and doubted, and second, because he didn’t simply answer my prayers with a win; no, He made His answer to my prayers one of the most exhilarating, white-knuckled, adrenaline-charged, at times terrifying, but without a doubt, unforgettably joyful experiences of my life. Thank you, God.
The heart of the true joy I am feeling today is not based on baseball, it is the result of the real gift I’ve received … a deepened faith in my soul that God is there for all of us, loves all of us, and wants us to be one with Him.
This is exactly what Jesus meant in today’s Gospel when he said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is among you”. It is Jesus himself, when we invite him to live within our hearts.
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 experiences in your life have brought you the most joy? Take some time to relive those moments in your heart again.
Thank God for those experiences of joy. Ask Him to show you the ways He used those experiences to bless you.
"Behold, the Kingdom of God is among you." How can you more fully invite Christ to dwell in your heart and fill you with joy?
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.
"Behold, the Kingdom of God is among you."
"Lord, fill me with Your joy."
"Jesus, be my joy."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Celebrate those moments of joy you experience today! Be more aware of them and be intentional about thanking God for those times.
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 Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.