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 today's Gospel, we read about Jesus' answer as to why His apostles did not fast. His answer was simple: you can't put what's new into what's old. While Catholics do have an important time for fasting during different points in our calendar (Lent), our fasting, our action alone isn't enough.
We are called to accept the life of grace, the free gift of God!
This acceptance includes stepping away from the sins and disbelief of your past that made you need to perform penance to begin with. No grace can be held in the person who chooses to ignore it by turning away from God instead! It comes down to a choice. Will you live a new life and let grace flow within you? Or will you live your old life and let grace slip away?
When I was in high school, I had begun to take my faith seriously and believe in God, but I hadn't fully committed to be a new person yet. I kept letting the bad parts of my old self remain in place. I wasn't willing to change that easily because I was afraid to lose those things about my old life that I was so used to. One day, however, I had a good friend come up and confront me about that. He said, "How do you think God's going to change you if you aren't willing to change yourself?" That moment, the connection was made in my brain that giving God permission to change me meant more than just asking Him to do something, it meant taking the opportunity to form myself to be able to receive the changes that God wanted for me.
Each person has a choice to make: are you going to be the old wineskin, unable to receive the grace poured out for you, or will you be the new wineskin, ready to let God overfill your cup with an abundance of grace? It's time to choose to let yourself be a new person where grace can enter your heart.
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.
In what ways are you stopping the life of grace from being active in you through your lack of acceptance of God's grace and his love?
How can you choose – today – to follow God's call in your life and turn away from sin?
What is the new wine that God is longing to pour into your life right now? It may be gifts, graces, fruits, people, or something else that he wants to do in order to reveal his love and allow you to walk in his grace!
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.
"Lord, pour out your grace."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"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?
As those of us in the US celebrate Independence Day today, take some time to pause, thanking God for the grace he has poured out in your heart, and share with those you see or talk to today a grace that God has been revealing in your life.
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 Brendan Slovacek, a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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.