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).
When listening to the first reading today, I couldn’t help but think of the state of the world we live in. Maybe it’s just the recent bombardment of nasty politics. Maybe it’s just the often-selfish city that I live in (or gnarly traffic that I drive in. Hey, Washington, D.C.!). Maybe it’s just the nasty comment threads I read on Facebook every single day.
But when I read the words in the Bible, they seem so different than a lot of the world that I see every day.
Be kind to one another, compassionate.
The command is so simple. Yet the idea is so powerful. It’s not saying to back down from our political stances, or disengage in divided conversations. It's not even saying to disregard terrible drivers. But, I wonder how much more effective we would be if we were kind in these situations?
A definition of kind is “showing benevolence.” And the definitions of benevolence? 1: a disposition to do good 2: an act of kindness 3: a generous gift.
What if we decided to make our lives a generous and loving gift of the Lord, for every single person that we meet? What if we actually were imitators of Christ and lived in love? Christ indeed got angry, but He was just and not sinful in His anger. I think so often that our anger, which is fallen and sinful, is due to a lack of recognizing the humanity in the other person, the one with whom we find ourselves angry.
This poem has stuck with me the past month. It’s by a Persian poet, not a Christian, but he has a knack for writing about seeing the other person. This really stuck with me:
Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with
a full moon in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
What every other eye in this world
is dying to
Let us not associate with “immorality…or impurity…or greed” or get stuck in “empty arguments.” But, instead, let's focus on being light and love to every person who crosses our path each day, with hearts aching for love.
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.
What does it mean to you to be an imitator of Christ? How do you live that out in your daily life?
Have you gotten angry with anyone recently? Why did you get angry towards them? What can you do to learn to love and bring the light of Christ to people when you're tempted towards anger?
Think about those definitions of benevolence and kindness from above. How can you implement those qualities more into your daily life?
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.
"Let me be light."
"Let me be love."
"I am an imitator of Christ."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Think about a person in your life that you often feel angry towards, and work on a way to treat them with love as an imitator of Christ 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 Andrea Scott, a graduate of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio currently living in Washington D.C.