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).
St. Paul would not be a good pitchman for Apostleship if today’s first reading is any indication of how he would go about it. I can just see him on “Shark Tank” trying to gather excitement of successful men and women to leave their lives behind to follow Christ, as St. Paul did: “You’re going to be like people sentenced to death, to be a fool on Christ’s account, hungry and thirsty, poorly clad and roughly treated…so, what do you say?”
But in the same way, I can’t help but be intrigued by the description of discipleship that St. Paul gives the Corinthians. As he tries to stem their pride and quell any disputes they have about greatness or success, he bluntly explains what his life, and the lives of the Apostles, is actually like. More than anything, the idea of being a “fool on Christ’s account” hits me in a special way. What does St. Paul mean by this?
I think he’s trying to help the Church in Corinth see that to be a disciple is to be wholly set apart from the world. To live authentically with Christ, following his commands and fulfilling the mission he has entrusted to us, means living in a way that others will see as foolish and meaningless. It isn’t with the eyes of the world that we should look upon a life of discipleship, otherwise we may be too proud to say “yes” to the Lord.
Paul may not make a convincing argument in appealing to our worldly natures—why would I give up the pleasure, comfort, and riches of the world to be ridiculed, persecuted, slandered, and wandering around homeless? But when we understand the life of discipleship from our spiritual nature, we see the paradox that he is coaxing out in this reading. To be poor is to be rich, to be ridiculed is to be blessed, to be hungry and thirsty leads us to satisfaction.
The Lord is not of this world, and to follow after him means that we must follow suit. We don’t have to necessarily sell all of our possessions and wander around hungry, homeless, and hurt, but we do have to see the beauty in living not for this world but for Christ and his kingdom. It may seem foolish to give what we have to help those who are in greater need and to put ourselves as servants of all instead of servants of ourselves, but the Lord calls us to live beyond this world and to seek first the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of men. Let us be humble fools for Christ so that we may experience the satisfaction he offers, which is infinitely more sweet than all the riches of this world.
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 strikes you when St. Paul talks about discipleship in today's reading? What word or phrase hits you as a Word that God is speaking to you in particular?
What is there in this world that you have a hard time giving up, or would have a hard time giving up if God asked you to?
How are you being called today to serve those who are more in need than you?
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.
"Make me humble."
"I long to be a fool for you."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
Offer up some inconvenience, some suffering of your day today for someone who is going through something harder than you are, and allow the Lord to redeem your suffering for their good.
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.