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).
Happy Thursday. Let’s get nerdy. The sixteenth century brought about what many deep thought thinkers would call a shift in worldview. The nerdiest call it the anthropocentric shift. Let’s explain it this way. If you were alive in the year 967 you would have seen God as the center of your whole existence. God was in charge of time, weather, technology, progress, health, and His ways would have been seen as the best ways. As we recall in the Book of Job, God’s ways are not to be questioned so much as to be trusted. If there was a hurricane in 967 people would have suffered loss and devastation they would have wept for their families and maybe for the possessions that were destroyed. They would even trust the Divine Will to varying degrees. That is to say, not everybody would have said, oh yay, a hurricane. God is Good! All the Time!
However, after the sixteenth century, humans begin to view themselves as the center of the Universe, and in some way, its almost as if God’s job, his main task is to take care of is. So, if a hurricane happens in 1977, we’re tempted to ask, “Why me?” “God, how could you do this to me?” “I’m at the center of my whole life, why would you allow this to happen to me? Aren’t you bigger than this? Aren’t you better than this?” This way of understanding ourselves and our reality is pretty unbiblical. To a certain degree it’s natural to disdain pain and seek comfort. At the same time, our faith teaches us two things. Jesus must be the center and foundation of our lives and to follow Him necessarily means embracing the Cross, heedless of the pain. Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us, we must obey God rather than men. In a world that seeks power, pleasure, and prestige, in a culture that tells us you are powerful, you are beautiful, you are the master of your own existence, you define your own terms, be who you are! In that culture, our Faith unwaveringly reminds us. Nope. It’s not all about you. It’s all about Jesus. When He is the lens through which we view everything, that’s where true happiness is found.
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 do you view the world? Do you view yourself as the center? Where is God?
Do you trust God to take care of you?
When have you asked God, why would you do this to me? How did He respond?
How do you feel Jesus in spite of pain and suffering?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"It's not about me."
"Lord, I need 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, as you consume the news, invite God into the moment, and ask Him to be present to you in the suffering and bad news.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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