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 Gospel today quotes the parable of Jesus known as the Parable of the Sower. We’ve all heard it; a sower throws down seeds, which land in different areas and are affected in varying ways. Afterwards, Jesus reveals to the Disciples the true meaning of the parable: It describes how the Word of God is heard by individual people in differing scenarios, each having its own affect on the fruits which are realized within the lives of those who have heard.
Have you ever reflected on the parable in relation to your own life? Which of the 4 “soils” do you think most typically describes your reception of the Word of God as you go about your daily life? Probably it varies from instance to instance, and is influenced by the people, situations and stresses you interact with or experience at any given time.
For instance, similar to the seeds sown on the path which the evil one steals away, maybe you go to Sunday Mass and the homily is about loving your neighbor. Afterwards, you ponder the message, and for the next day you realize you’re seeing others in a different, friendlier light. Then, irritatingly, a “friend” on Facebook says something insensitive about a picture of your dog, and just like that, all sentiments of neighborly love are gone before you know it.
Or perhaps, somewhat like the seeds on rocky ground without roots, you decide to spend a weekend at a youth retreat, rather than hanging out with your usual squad of non-churchgoing friends. You are surprised how good of a time you have at the retreat and go home Sunday night feeling like you’re riding on a cloud. Naturally, on Monday, you pick back up with your customary day-to-day activities, and before you know it, the spirit of the retreat is lost in the hectic routines of your normal life.
For most of us, I imagine, we probably most often experience the scenario of the seeds that land on thorny ground and are overcome by worldly concerns. That is how life is, isn’t it? Although we go to Mass on a regular basis, pray conscientiously, read the Bible as often as we can, and make every attempt to honestly follow Jesus, we unfortunately still have things called homework and tests in our lives, or jobs we report to, or unpleasant family issues we have to deal with, or any number of other miscellaneous pressures and anxieties in our lives.
The mission for all of us is to always be working to convert ourselves into the rich soil described last in the parable. In doing so, we lessen the opportunity for the scenarios described earlier to materialize. Keep praying, keep reading the Bible, don’t miss a Mass just because you don’t feel like going. Have Faith. Persevere. You ARE the rich soil, and you WILL bear fruit a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold. Trust in Jesus; let Him help you with this mission. You are His garden, and He’s got the ultimate green thumb.
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.
Which of the 4 “soils” do you think most typically describes your reception of the Word of God as you go about your daily life?
What are some ways you can make sure you become more like the rich soil?
How can you try and keep yourself strong after some great summer events such as Steubenville, Mission Trip, and other summer retreats?
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.
"Here I am Lord"
"Help me to receive your love."
"You're a good good Father."
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?
Build a community to keep the rich soil rich in your life. It takes work to prune the weeds and distractions out of your life, but it is worth it for the fruit of the good soil.
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.