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 was recently talking to a married couple who have some younger children. While in mass, the dad noticed that his oldest daughter was kneeling during communion but with her behind on the seat. The dad asked her to kneel straight up, but she decided to kneel halfway between straight up and down and resting against the bench. He dad chuckled at her attempt to both listen to him and also be her own person. The dad leaned in, noticing it was harder to hold this position in between kneeling than kneeling all the way and said, “It’s harder to do things halfway.”
If you have ever tried to kneel halfway, you know this to be true not only for kneeling but also for life, and it is especially hard in the spiritual life. Today’s readings, and the Season of Lent, invite us to see where we are doing our spiritual lives “halfway” or “half-hearted” and to commit to being all in with the Lord.
In the Gospel today, the sons of Zebedee approach Jesus as ask to be placed on his right hand, the place of authority in any kingdom. Jesus responds to them by asking if they really know what they are requesting of him. Jesus reminds them that to be a part of his kingdom, and the closer we draw to Christ means not human power but rather means to drink the cup of his life and the cup of his death, which was fast approaching. The Christian life leads to the cross, with no exceptions, but on the other side of the Cross is the Resurrection and new Life.
In the face of suffering, sacrifice, or hurts, it is easy to want to retreat a bit, not kneel as straight up and down, or compromise an aspect of our faith life. However, today’s readings remind us that it is not possible to live a life with Christ “halfway,” Christ’s call is for each and every one to be “all in,” to be a Saint.
This Lent, and today in particular, invite the Lord to show you where you might be living parts of your spiritual life “halfway” and how he wants you to recommit being “all in” with him in your life. Christ’s incarnation is God’s gift of being “all in” for you, so how this Lent is he calling you to be “all in” for Him.
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.
Where am I spiritually living "halfway" or "half-hearted?"
What am I struggling with right now that is leading me to life "halfway" or "half-hearted?"
How will I recommit to being "all in" for God?
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.
"Recommit your life."
"Lead me to the cross."
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?
Recommit today, whether to daily prayer, forgiveness, your Lenten fast, or whatever it is you need to recommit to.
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Today’s prayer was prepared by Jon Polce, SJ.
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