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).
What strikes me most about today’s Gospel reading is the specific passage from Isaiah that Matthew intentionally references; because it tells us a lot about who Christ is. So let’s break this open. And as I walk through these characteristics of Christ I want to invite you to allow the truth of who he is and how he encounters you to wash over you. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and wash away any misinterpretations of who the Lord is and ask him to reveal to you the way in which these characteristics of Christ have been made manifest in your own life.
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen”
The word servant or service is used over 1,000 times throughout Scripture, but it always seems more significant to me when it’s used in reference to Christ himself. I mean there are plenty passages from the book of Isaiah or from the Psalms, but Matthew chooses specifically to cite this passage which refers to Christ as servant. And of course Christ is servant so as to be an example to us of what it means to serve in our own lives, but there’s so much more to it than that. See Christ is our Servant. Not only though what he’s done in the past but also each and every day through his love and his guidance. Just pause and let that sink in a moment, the Creator of the Universe chooses to serve you. Not because he has to, but because he loves you.
“A bruised reed he will not break”
A reed is a fairly fragile plant, yet God tells us (through Isaiah) that if it is bruised, the Servant will not break it, but instead handle it with care and gentleness. We often expect the Lord to deal harshly with us in the midst of our sin and brokenness (perhaps because this is how we deal with ourselves), but Christ is not a harsh tyrant but a gentle Savior and he deals with our wounded-ness with compassion and tenderness.
“A smoldering wick he will not quench”
So often I find myself falling into the trap of thinking that if I surrender my life to the Lord, if I give him everything, he will ask me to give us the things that are most dear to me. But here we are told that the Lord does not desire to extinguish the fires of our deepest longings, rather he wants to fulfill them. Certainly the Lord will call us to detachment, but if the flames of desire he has placed within us continue to burn, then it is the Lord himself who will fan the flames.
Today let’s ask God for the grace of knowing who he truly is; let us ask him to show us where he has revealed his servant-heart, his gentleness, and his desire to give us the deepest longings of our heart in each of our lives.
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.
Christ is a servant who chooses to serve you. Where do you the Lord serving you in your daily life?
Christ is not a harsh tyrant but a compassionate Father. Where in your life do you need to experience the Lord's compassion?
The Lord wants to fulfill your deepest longings. What are you longing for most right now?
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.
"You are compassionate."
"You are good."
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 the Lord to continue to reveal to you who He truly is and to wipe away any false interpretations or misconceptions you may have.
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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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