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).
As we begin to read today's Gospel passage, we come upon this scene: Jesus is gone, and so the Apostles go back to a place of comfort, the only thing they knew before life with Christ (i.e. being fishermen). The Apostles feel lost without Christ. They don’t seem to be good even at fishing anymore.
In this Gospel story, Jesus reveals himself to his closest friends. He continues to be with them and pursue them even after his death. When Peter realizes Jesus is there on the shore, he doesn’t hesitate and jumps wholeheartedly into the deep waters to pursue the Lord. Without Christ, we often feel lost and uncertain of where we are going in life or what we are good at. Without Christ, we often seek what we think we know and what seems comfortable, but pursuing Christ is far from comfortable. Christ wants more for us than comfort. He wants a relationship with us.
At first glance, based on Peter’s reaction to seeing Jesus on the shore, we might expect Peter to give a wholehearted “YES!” (seems like a no brainer…). The word Jesus uses for love is the Greek word agapao which describes total, unconditional, self-giving love, the kind of committed, sacrificial love that Jesus models. The kind of love with which Peter responds is phileo love - the love of friendship, tender but not all encompassing. Peter seems to feel only capable of imperfect, human love. Peter presents himself to Jesus as he really is - not an inflated view of himself previously or and ideal of who he would like to be someday, but the truth of his own fragility. Jesus does not back down and repeats his question. However, the third time Jesus changes the question. Jesus does not lower the standard of love, but he lowers himself to meet Peter where he is. Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love (phileo) me?” The Lord loves each one of us individually with agape love. Agape love is reckless and relentless in pursuit. Our love is imperfect and often weak, but the Lord still comes to meet us where we are at.
Jesus then foretells how Peter will one day live agape like He did. Peter will be changed, and his heart will be transformed. Peter will one day find himself crucified like Christ. The story of Peter’s transformation is the story God pursues in the hearts of all his disciples. Jesus wants to meet us where we are, as we are, with all our fears, wounds and sins, and transform our philia hearts into agape hearts. The Lord accepts our imperfect love and transforms it.
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.
Do I love the Lord?
How does my love and my heart need to be transformed?
Where is the Lord meeting me?
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's my heart, Lord."
"Transform my heart."
"I love 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?
Allow Christ to meet you where you are today, in all your imperfections and brokenness, and allow Him to transform your heart.
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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, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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