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).
The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7 is literally a lesson on living our lives directly from the mouth of Jesus himself, as if we were sitting there that day with the multitudes of his followers. Do this: picture yourself now, sitting on that mountain listening to Jesus, looking up at him as the sun warms your back. Picture your closest friends listening by your side, earnestly soaking in everything this remarkable man is saying. His words make so much sense as you hear them, simple truths and logical conclusions. How you feel inspired to love by the message you are hearing.
As you listen, you now hear Jesus speak directly to you regarding the many anxieties you’ve been dealing with. Quickly you know in your heart that he is very much aware of your worries and fears. He aches that you feel this way. He walks to you, sits down besides you and puts his arm around your shoulder. “My friend, do not worry so.” he implores, “My Father loves you and looks after you. Do not worry about your chemistry test next week, about your grades, about your score on the ACT, about college. Your life is so much more than these things.”
“Do not worry about what you think is wrong with you…” he continues, “about what others think of you. My Father created you the way he wanted you to be. He has given you your own unique gifts, and will help you use them.”
He gestures to your friends sitting near you. “Your gift is to love these brothers and sisters of yours. Do you not know they also worry? Help them. Do the will of my Father and care for His children whom He loves above all things. All you need will be provided to you in this. I also will help you. In turn, welcome the help they can give to you. Help each other, look after each other, and love each other.”
“I do not mean to say that you should not study, or work hard, or plan for your future. No, these efforts will all serve to permit you to better offer the gifts my Father has bestowed upon you. Concern yourself with these things, but do not let them tear your soul apart. Push away the fears you feel, they only serve to distract you from your true purpose. Allow my Father to worry about providing what you need, and setting you on your path. He will do this. He does this for all His children.”
Jesus' words never stop speaking to us. We just have to stop worrying and listen.
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 you ever let yourself hear Jesus talk directly to you like the reflection today? How did you feel as you were reflecting in this way?
Why do you think we have so many worries and so much anxiety in the world today? What are some ways you can overcome that and trust God more?
Would you have been anxious with Jesus sitting right next you? With the comfort of his love and his arm around you? You can have this same comfort at Mass or in Adoration, so why don't we run there when we are stressed or anxious?
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.
"Do not worry about tomorrow."
"God always provides."
"Jesus, 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?
Find the closest Adoration Chapel to you and go there this week. Get comfortable in His Presence so that when stress and anxiety do come, you are comfortable running to Him in the Eucharist first!
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.