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).
Growing up, I idolized my brother. He was 11 years older than me and everything he did seemed to be awesome. He listened to the best music, was incredible at all sports, had really long hair (which was a definitive cool statement for guys in the early 2000s), and just in general was someone everyone loved to be around. I followed him everywhere and wanted to do everything with him at all times. Then, when I was in high school, he moved out, got married, and had my nephew. While I was happy for him, I couldn’t help but notice our relationship getting weaker and weaker. It took me a few years, but I realized: this guy, my brother, that I had idolized for so long, I never actually took the time to get to know him, who he was, his joys, his struggles, and everything in between. Instead, he was always just this guy I sort of put on a pedestal.
Rewind to today’s Gospel and we see a dialogue between Phillip and Jesus that runs along a similar train of thought. Jesus proclaims Himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that anyone who knows Him will know God the Father in Heaven because they are one in the same. Philip, a man who would have been circulating around Christ’s inner circle of Apostles for almost three years now completely misses the mark and asks Jesus to show them the Father and that will be enough. Jesus’s response is biting, and certainly one that hits home for us today reading: “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip?”
Do you just idolize God, His traditions and commandments, or do you follow Him, your Father, the Divine Being who knows and loves you completely? To steal an old trope, do you know God or do you just know about God? I sure did love my brother, and still do. But, back when I was a kid, I really didn’t know much about him at all. It is one thing to know about God, what we should do, how we should pray, etc. Yet, this is only helpful inasmuch as it is at the service of the God that you actually know.
God is not a God of the abstract. He became like us so that we could know Him, to save us from the unknowing of sin and death. This is what Christ means when He talks about the Apostles performing “greater works than these” – the greater works are the sacraments, God Himself, that we get to receive today so that we can know Him and His presence in our lives. God is not a God of the abstract – He is utterly and profoundly real and present in your life.
Seek to know who God is. Beyond that, recognize that He is already present within your life in ways you don’t see now, but will in retrospect. If we can see the beauty that is already in front of us in this present moment, we can behold the God of the universe, Jesus Himself, the Holy Spirit within our very hearts, who is by our side at every moment to enlighten, strengthen, and free us.
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.
Do you just idolize God, His traditions and commandments, or do you follow Him, your Father, the Divine Being who knows and loves you completely?
Do you know God or do you just know about God?
What are you doing 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 want to know You, God."
"I desire to share my life with you."
"I love you Lord."
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?
Ask God to reveal Himself to you today. In prayer ask Him questions you would ask a friend such as "what do you think about this?" or "what's your favorite part of nature?" and then listen and ask him to reveal it to you throughout the day.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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