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).
The Nicene Creed is a proclamation of our faith. It sums up everything we believe and we recite it every Sunday at Mass. Have you ever wondered, what we mean when we say, “in accordance with the Scriptures?”
“For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.”
Let’s look at the Gospel for today, Jesus says this evil generation is seeking a sign but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
Uh, so what does that mean?
“In accordance with the scriptures” is referring to the story of Jonah and it is profound. Jonah was a disobedient prophet who rejected his divine commission, meaning he did not do what God asked and go preach repentance to Nineveh. Instead, he ran far away from there. Then he was cast overboard in a storm and swallowed by a great fish for 3 days and 3 nights. When he was spit out (back where he started) he obeys and goes to Nineveh, the capital of Israel’s ancient enemy telling them to repent. Now, this is like you or me going into New York or Chicago all by ourselves and running around telling people to repent of their sins. Quite the task if you ask me! But they all listened to his message of doom and from the king to the lowliest person, they humbled themselves in sackcloth and ashes.
This Old Testament writing is a “type” to the New Testament.
Jesus continues in the Gospel, "because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here." Jesus is talking about himself. He will be in the “belly of the fish” - hell for 3 days and 3 nights - only to rise again and teach the Apostles to preach repentance to the ends of the earth - to become many ‘Jonahs’ in the world.
We are those disciples now. We need to share our faith, our God stories, to bring people to a relationship with God. Our role as Christians is to share our awakening in an emotional and meaningful way to help save the souls of our brothers and sisters on this earth who are still sleeping when it comes to knowing Jesus as Our Savior.
Jonah did it and the entire city of Nineveh repented! We can surely share our amazing God stories with our neighbors about the loving grace of God, his mercy or how we have been transformed through our relationship, sacraments and our faith, right? I kind of look at it like we owe it to Jesus and Jonah to get out of our own way, stop being shy and concerned about what people think and start sharing the amazing ways Jesus has impacted our lives. Have courage, go share your God story with one person today, make Jesus and Jonah proud.
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.
Jesus, give me my story - how do I share the impact you have had on my life with others, meeting them where they are at?
Where do I lack courage to share the Gospel?
How can I overcome my fears of sharing the Gospel?
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, give me the courage like Jonah to share the good news.”
“Jesus, humble me to be your servant and to do your work.”
“Help me save my brothers and sisters who I love so much.”
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?
Share your amazing transformation or how Jesus impacted your life with one person today. Do not preach, do not quote bible verses, do not try to catechize or convert. Just speak from your heart about how God has transformed your life, helped you get through trials and the graces you have received. Share it with emotion and love - be a disciple today and help others get closer to God.
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Today’s Prayer was prepared by Kendra Von Esh, a Speaker and Author, inspiring others to lead with compassion and enrich their lives through faith and prayer.
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