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).
STOP. Before you read any further, watch this video.
There are many things I admire most about St. Maximilian Kolbe, but something that has always struck me is his willingness to exchange his life for that of a condemned man. I think it is that part of me that longs to be remembered in history books for doing a great deed of heroism while on Earth. And I think “if I can just do that one thing, I will be forever remembered.” But here is the reality: Maximilian Kolbe didn’t just do ONE heroic act. He did hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of smaller heroic acts all throughout his life that trained him for the day that God would ask of him to do that ONE great act.
Jesus’ Gospel message isn’t exactly one of hope for us; He tells us that we will be handed over, hated by all because of His name. He seems to crush us before building us up. And telling us not to prepare our defense isn’t exactly encouraging either. But this is precisely where He desires us to be: Powerless. Powerless in the face of those who believe they have power so that when the power of God is manifested, it is clear who truly is in control. You and I are called to be, as the first reading says, “those who had won the victory over the beast.”
The victory is won by giving testimony. The Greek word used originally is martyrium. We translate it to mean martyr but in fact it can also mean “to give testimony” which is exactly what martyrdom does. In our own lives, this has to be done each and every day. We have to be willing to sacrifice something daily so that as we grow in the Spirit of God, we become more comfortable giving up larger things. What do these little sacrifices entail? Ordinary things: not taking the last piece of cake, letting someone go ahead of me in grocery line when I have thirty things and they have one, calling my folks from college once a week to let them know I am still alive, etc. These are little sacrifices that we can make which in the end prepare us for giving up control of our lives so that God can manifest His life in us. They aren’t things to be bragged about, but little secrets between you and God so that if the time comes where He brings you in front of rulers or in the case of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the prison guard, you are detached from this world and can freely exchange your life for another. Perhaps not with many words but with a life well lived and a true martyrium.
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.
In what small ways am I called to sacrifice for others?
Do I live my life as a testimony? Are others drawn to God by how I live?
Do I want to be remembered more than I want to bring others 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.
"Many small acts."
"I choose martyrium."
"To give testimony."
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?
Today, look for the small sacrifices you can make. Don't hog the mirror in the bathroom. Do the dishes without being asked. Take someone's plate for them. Use every moment to live your life as a testimony.
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 Fr. Sean Grismer, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.