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).
Today’s first reading is the seven-verse introduction at the beginning of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. If written within the conventions of today, it might seem this reading could be boiled-down simply to “Dear Romans”, and never given a deeper thought. However, to do that would be to neglect a great deal of beauty and meaning in Paul’s salutation.
Immediately, Paul states that he is a slave of Christ. This establishes his identity as well as his total dedication to Jesus. Do we see and describe ourselves with this same enthusiasm? He further pronounces himself as “set apart for the Gospel of God”. All of this, to me, brings to mind the same type of commitment our Catholic priests undertake when they are anointed and enter into their vocations.
He then sums up the entirety of the good news that he is so devoted to; by recounting the long prophesied Davidic king, who is Jesus, the Son of God, in union with the Holy Spirit, who died and was resurrected for the salvation of us all.
Next comes Paul’s magnificent invitation, not only to those Romans of the first century, but also to all who have lived since then, and to us even today. It is an invitation to faith … faith in the name of, and for the sake of, Jesus our Lord. Paul illuminates the beautiful truth that we are all beloved children of God; called by Jesus to belong to Him. What more could we possibly ask for? How do we answer this glorious call?
Lastly, Paul does us the great courtesy of wishing upon us the saving grace of God, and the deep peace found within an intimate relationship with His son Jesus.
Let’s all strive to greet everyone we meet with the same zeal and compassion that Paul reveals in his heartfelt salute to his brothers and sisters in Rome.
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 you have the same conviction about your identity in Christ as Paul does? How can you begin to strengthen that conviction?
Do you have the same passion for the mission of Christ as Paul does? How can you begin to strengthen that passion?
When people meet you, do they ever see your heart like Paul reveals his in his introduction? Why or why not?
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 I am Lord."
"All I am is Yours."
"I give you my life, 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?
It would be weird to introduce yourself like this to everyone you meet. However, you can live more boldly for Christ that people notice something is different. Find a way to live more passionately for Christ and start living that way 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 Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.