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).
Happy feast of St. Mark, one of the four Gospel writers! Mark, who is historically traced the person called "John Mark" in the Acts of the Apostles, wrote what was probably the first of the four Gospels written. In fact, Biblical scholars believe that Mark likely gave a sort of a basis for Matthew and Luke to write their Gospels; his is the shortest, but on the key story they are in agreement.
Mark probably wrote his Gospel based on conversations he had with St. Peter. This Gospel, short and direct, is a powerful account of the life and person of Jesus. St. Mark, then, is a great witness to us of what it means to be an evangelist, boldly and clearly proclaiming who Jesus was and is, what he did and taught, and what it looks like to follow him.
With that background, let's look at this letter from St. Peter that we have as our first reading today. There are a few key themes in this short passage, including a call to humility, a call to vigilance, and also a clear articulation of the love that the members of the early Church had for one another.
On this feast of St. Mark, the word that the Lord put on my heart to pull out of this reading is humility. I believe we often have a misunderstanding of the humility, assuming that it means simply hating ourselves and thinking we're no good, putting ourselves down and giving in to embarrassment. While these things might happen, humility itself has almost nothing to do with them.
No, quite simply, humility is about taking our eyes off of ourselves and putting them where they belong. Why does St. Peter in this reading point out the need for humility? So that, as he says later in the reading, we may stand in the grace of the Lord Jesus!
Why does Mark write his short, action-packed, powerful account of the life of Jesus? So that more and more people would see that Jesus is the Savior, the very Good News for our life, the one in whom we have hope and have life.
On this feast day, brothers and sisters, let us humbly approach the Lord, begging from him the grace to turn our gaze off of ourselves, learning to look clearly at Jesus and, in that gaze, to love and serve the world around us however we're being called to do so. And then, as we live lives of humility with our eyes focused on the Lord, we may truly learn what it means to the eternal glory of the God of all grace.
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 is God calling you today to turn your gaze off of yourself and onto him?
In what ways are you being challenged to love others – your family, friends, co-workers, etc. – even when your relationships look different now than they ever have before?
How can St. Mark's intercession be a guide to you of what it means to point those you speak with to Jesus?
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.
"You are Savior."
"You are Lord."
"You are enough."
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 this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.