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).
I really feel like there’s real Jesus and pop-culture Jesus. The real Jesus is the Jesus we see in the New Testament. He’s the Jesus we encounter in the Liturgy. He’s the Jesus the Church Fathers wrote about, the Jesus the Saints preach and teach. The Jesus we encounter in prayer. Then, we’ve got pop-culture Jesus. He’s the Jesus we meet in TV and movies. The Jesus that people often talk about. He’s the Jesus of popular spiritual literature. Pop-Culture Jesus is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s so fuzzy. Pop-Culture Jesus is nothing but sunshine and rainbows and bunnies. Pop-Culture Jesus is like a really nice Mr. Rogers. I think that’s the Jesus lots of folks know. Love. Be kind. Be nice. Tolerate. Never judge. Peace. All of those elements are certainly present in Our Lord’s proclamation of the Kingdom. But some of the things He does surprise us because they seem to go against this kindly and soft notion of the Savior. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is radical. He’s divisive. He’s firm. He’s declaratory. "Whoever is not with me is against me"! "Whoever does not gather scatters"! In the classic Chris Farley film, okay – not film – just movie, Tommy Boy, Tommy’s dad, Mr. Callahan states, “in auto parts you’re either growin’ or you’re dyin’. There ain’t no third direction.” And so it is with our Christian Living. The Christian life does not allow for plateauing. It’s just spiritual physics. There’s no such thing as coasting in the spiritual life. When it comes to following the Master, we’ve gotta heed the words of Mr. Callahan – you’re either growing or you’re dying. There ain’t no third direction.
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.
How do you picture Jesus and why?
Do you think there is more to Him than you normally imagine? In what ways?
Are you growing or dying spiritually? If you are trying to coast or slipping away, how can you begin to grow again today?
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.
"Help me grow Lord."
"Help me know You more."
"Come Holy Spirit."
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?
Try to look beyond your "safe" view of God today and let Him help you grow in ways that may be scary. Trust in Him, for He is good and will continue to help you grow as long as you ask Him.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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