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 Gospel is one that should be on our daily reading list.
We live in a world where every moment needs to be advertised. Every meal we eat, every pair of shoes we wear: it doesn’t matter what it is, there is a pressure to have to “prove” ourselves to each other through our online profiles and social status. Given Jesus’ message to us today, it is clear that this problem isn’t anything new. To my knowledge, smart phones & social media weren’t a thing back in the time of Jesus; pride & selfishness, however, were a thing, thus we all can relate to what He is talking about.
The reality is, we have nothing to prove. We have a God who loves us because He created us. We have a God who loves us because of WHO we are, not WHAT we are. I often fall into the trap of trying to earn God’s love by clocking a certain number of hours of service, prayer or other charitable work. We pray, we serve, we love because it is in our DNA, it is our natural response to the love that God has for us.
So why does this Gospel ask us to do all of these things in private? Well, I don’t think you have to physically hide behind closed doors when you pray, but we are all called to seek a posture of humility when we approach the Lord. We are all called to be both authentic and sincere in our love for God and our love for others. St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” This quote reveals to us how important our actions really are.
As you go about your day today, make an extra effort to be humble. Make an extra effort to take a moment of silence and pray, even if you are out in public. Be mindful of your actions, and may we lead others to Christ by being bold witnesses of the Gospel message in all that we do.
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 have you seen pride and selfishness creep into your life? Into your relationships with others/ Into your relationship with God?
Why do you pray, work, serve, etc.? What can you do to be sure it's always done out of love for God and no other reasons?
Do your words and actions generally lead people closer to Christ? How can you work on letting them truly do that?
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.
"I seek You."
"Help me be humble."
"Teach me to pray."
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?
Work on that humility today. Take time to pray, no matter where you are, asking for the grace to be humble, and then let your words and actions flow from a humble relationship with the Lord and nowhere else.
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 Connor Flanagan, a Youth Minister and Catholic Musician who lives in St. Paul, MN.
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