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).
Today’s Gospel holds one of the most sassy lines in Scripture! Philip is telling Nathanael about Jesus of Nazareth, and Nathanael expressed such a human and relatable response. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” he asked. He essentially called Jesus a loser who came from a lame town. Ouch. But instead of Jesus getting upset He actually paid him a compliment. Jesus states, “here is a true child of Israel, there is no duplicity in him.” Meaning, Jesus knows the goodness in Nathanael, although he may struggle to recognize the goodness in himself.
Nathanael was taken aback at this compliment and asked, “How do you know me?” There is a specific line of the Litany of Humility, “from the fear of being found out, deliver me Jesus.” There is a scary part to any relationship, the fear that if someone were to really know us, our true selves with all of our flaws, they may not accept us. I think this was Jesus’ way of seeing Nathanael’s fear of being found out in all the years of shame of the past and inviting him to trust that His place is not to judge or reject, but to love and accept.
Fig trees naturally grow fruit before their leaves open, so when the leaves are full it gives hope that the tree is producing well-developed fruit. The tree is deceptive to many at first glance, but if harvesters are able to be patient, they could then share the treasure of a ripe fig.
So when Jesus was saying, “before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree,” could be interpreted as “before you heard about me, I knew you. I knew your joys and your shame. I accept you as you are and I want to have a relationship with you.” Despite Nathanael assuming that no good could come from Nazareth, Jesus did not hold that over his head, but rather extended love.
This invitation to be “found out” for who we really are, with all of our shortcomings, insecurities, and fears is what Jesus gives to us, without force or coercion, but with kindness and patience. If we accept this call and believe that we are meant to live in relationship with Christ, then there is no way our lives can go back to the way they were before. Our eyes can be opened, our hearts can be freed of shame, and our thoughts can shift into constant prayers with the help of His grace and the receptivity to believe that Jesus is Lord.
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.
Have you ever been skeptical that Jesus sees you?
Do you want the Lord to know you? Or do you hide from Him?
How does the Lord see you?
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.
"See me Lord."
"The Lord knows me."
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?
How does the Lord see you? He does know you. Find a quiet spot outside today and ask the Lord to let you see how He sees you.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.