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 was always told to pick my friends wisely. My parents would tell me that I would become like those I hang out with the most. I was allowed to have friends from all different walks of life, but my parents were careful to remind me that my best friends would truly shape who I would become someday.
We are a few days into 2017 now, but it is still a good time to look back on who has influenced us this year. I had to remember all those lessons on the importance of good friendships this year as I moved from Pittsburgh to Chicago. I had a chance to define (or redefine) who I am, not only by my actions, but by the people I would call my new best friends and the people I would hold onto from the places I have lived before. If I wanted to be a man of God, I had to find people who wanted that for me and wanted to be a man or woman of God as well.
I know in high school, what our friends think about us matters more than almost anything else, and honestly that never entirely goes away. The people we surround ourselves with matter. We need to focus on another friendship even more though, our relationship with God. We need to live in Him, as His children, and we can experience the freedom He has in store for us!
The relationships that matter the most to us define us the most. Shouldn't our relationship with God be one of them?
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.
Who influenced you the most in 2016? Did they lead you closer to or farther away from God?
How have your friends shaped who you are today?
In 2017, are there any people in your life that you need to separate yourself from?
Is your friendship with God a priority in your life?
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.
"Beloved, we are God's children now."
"Lord, help me to learn from the past."
"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter."
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?
Make a list of all the people who have influenced your life over the past year, whether for better or for worse. Consider where God would fall on that list. As 2017 begins, make God a priority. Thank the people that have been a good influence, and separate yourself from those people who have been a bad influence.
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 Sean Norris, Youth Minister at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, IL.