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).
This Gospel may come as a surprise to anyone who reads it for the first time: “Did Jesus just disrespect his own mother?”
Read it a second time, slowly. And then say to yourself, “The word of the Lord, thanks be to God.” God is doing something incredible in this cryptic, short passage!
The entirety of Scripture could be summed up by calling it the story of how God’s family tree grows. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s family grew from a couple (Adam & Eve) to a family (Noah’s family) to a tribe (Abraham) to a nation (Moses and the Israelites) to a mighty kingdom (King David). With Jesus, we see God’s family growing even further!
Today’s passage describes Jesus’ mother and brothers coming to see him, but as we often see in the Gospels Jesus sees something on a whole other level then we do. The word “brothers” in the Gospel is actually the word for “brethren,” which is often translated as kinsfolk, cousin, or even fellow man. But Jesus’ family is much more than just his mother and his other relatives, he wants to expand his family to mean all who “hear the word of God and act upon it.”
What is a Christian other than somebody who hears the word of God and acts upon it by responding with their lives? Saul hears God, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” and he responds, becomes St. Paul, and joins in the family of God. Simon hears Jesus ask “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and he responds “the Christ, Son of the living God” and becomes St. Peter and joins in the family of God. You parents hear Christ, through the priest say, “What do you ask of the Church?” and they responded “baptism,” on on your behalf brought you into the family of God.
If you listen closely for the word of God today what will you hear? And when you hear it, how will you act?
Mary, the mother of God, is not disrespected in this passage. In fact, Jesus holds her up as the key example of how to hear the word of God and respond. The Angel Gabriel came and told her she would become the Mother of the Messiah. She responded, “Let it be done unto me according to thy word.” Her response of faith became a defining moment of not only her entire life, but also the history of the word.
If you closely for the word of God today what will you hear? And when you hear it, how will you act?
The family tree of God is growing! Jesus has expanded God’s family further than ever before, and he invites everybody to be a part of his story of salvation. Let us call upon the Holy Spirit so that we can hear the word of God more clearly everyday, and be given the boldness to respond with our whole lives.
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 can I grow in listening to the word of God in my life?
In what ways is God calling me to act upon the word that he speaks in my life? How have I responded to this call recently?
What are you speaking to me in your word today, 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.
"Help me to hear and act today."
"Let it be done to me according to your word."
"Thank you for speaking to me."
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?
In prayer today take time to listen, not just to speak. Let God's word wash over you and listen to what he is speaking to you. Find one thing God is calling you to do and make a plan to act on it. It could be spending extra time in prayer, opening your bible, loving your family in a small way. Hear and act on God's word!
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"Today's Prayer was prepared by Chris O'Hara, an evangelist in Canada.
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