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).
“I have come to know that you are the Christ…” For a long time in my spiritual journey, I thought I had “arrived.” I thought I had everything totally figured out. I knew God completely and was sure about everything I knew about Him and about myself. Sure there was maybe some more things for me to learn here and there about the details and all that stuff, but I was convinced that I had an experience with God and that experience meant that I knew Him completely and believed in Him completely.
After some hard learned lessons and life experience, I realized that I was incredibly immature and arrogant and just wrong. Christ is not someone who we can ever pin down. He is ever elusive. He is infinite, thus always beyond the grasp of our attempts to confine Him. Just when we think we have figured Him out or boxed Him in, He proceeds to obliterate our boxes and pre-conceived notions. And thank God He does.
I love this line from Martha, “I have come to believe that you are the Christ…” It was not one particular moment, one “conversion” experience that turned things around for her. It was a journey. Her relationship with Christ is something she had to grow into like a new pair of hiking boots. She had to come to believe, she didn’t just “believe” and understand it all in an instant.
In our world of efficiency and productivity and immediate gratification, sometimes we can allow our cultural concepts pervade our spiritual life. “If I’m going to give my life to Jesus, then I’m just going to make the decision and do it right now and boom then everything will change and I will know Him completely and all temptations will cease and I will live in happiness and peace.” Yet this is not the reality of life with Him. We want the quick fix. But our God is not a God of the quick fix. He is a God of the Infinite - time means nothing to Him - so He is in no rush and He is certainly not interested in quick fixes. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Sprint and you will burn out.
Even after Martha proclaimed this finish line of her journey, “I have come to believe,” she still screwed up. She still had to continue to come to believe. Even when she thought she had “arrived,” she hadn’t. Maybe you and I haven’t either.
So, if you have reached a breaking point in your faith and are frustrated as to why you are not making progress in your spiritual life and why all of your sin and weaknesses and problems haven’t disappeared yet and why you haven’t “figured out” God (as if that was ever possible anyways), take a deep breath and relax and sit back and enjoy the journey that is life with Him and coming to believe in Him and coming to believe in His love for you. He’s in no rush, so neither should you be.
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.
When did you first encounter Jesus? What was that like? How has your relationship changed since then?
Who is Jesus? How would you describe Him?
How can you come to know Him more?
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 have come to believe."
"You are the Christ."
"I want to know you."
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?
Today, try to go to adoration. Look at Jesus and let Him look at you. Ask our Lord to help you know Him more.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.
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