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).
Sometimes being Catholic is really hard. We want to live out our faith so joyfully, but there always seems to be people who try to steal our joy.
St. John the Baptist knew Jesus Christ in an intimate way even before he was born (cf. Luke 1:41). He leapt for joy in his mother’s womb at the mere presence of the Savior. He dedicated the rest of his life to living radically for Jesus Christ, preparing people’s hearts for His coming and spreading the good news. And after all that, this same man was not only killed for his faith, but his head was presented on a platter as a birthday present. Talk about a gruesome image.
Herod himself said, “Mighty powers are at work in him.” Herod saw the power of God at work in John the Baptist and knew that his earthly power was no match. There will be people like Herod that come after us for our faith and try to steal our joy, but no one can separate us from the love of Christ. The power of Christ at work in us is stronger than any earthly power, even stronger than death itself.
Living a radical life for Christ, like St. John the Baptist, is far from easy. However, when I read today’s Gospel, Herod is the man I find myself feeling sorry for. He settled to find temporary happiness in watching a provocative dance instead of striving for the joy of the Lord that comes from following Christ.
Who will you be today - Herod or John the Baptist? Will you settle for temporary happiness in the things of this world, or will you live a radical life of joy following Christ?
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.
Who are you living like more... Herod or John the Baptist? Are you settling for temporary happiness in the things of this world, or trying to live a radical life of joy following Christ?
Are you living so radically for Christ that people literally can see Him working through you? If not, how can you begin to?
Who are people in your life that are more like Herod, stealing joy instead of living in it? How can you pray for them and love them despite their negative outlook?
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.
"Give me courage Lord."
"Let your light shine in me."
"Help me be more like You Lord."
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?
Don't let the haters tear you down. God is giving you an opportunity to love instead of hate. Take some time to think about the people who have torn you down and pray for them instead of hating them today.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.