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).
This weekend I was completely touched by this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9z-dMQjRBE) of actor Jim Caviezel surprising students with a Spirit-filled speech at the FOCUS leadership conference in Chicago.
The actor who portrayed Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ” and stars as Luke in an upcoming film called “Paul, Apostle of Christ” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaK-lbhhx_M) started his speech to a room that could have heard a pin drop:
“The name Saul means great one. The name Paul means little one.
By making this film, I learned that by changing one little, one tiny letter, we can become great in the eyes of God.
It requires us to be little, if we wish to be great. This is the way of the saints. This is the way of the holy. And this is the way Saul became St. Paul.”
In today’s 1st reading, we encounter another Saul in the Old Testament. He has doubts and lack of courage as he tells David not to go up again the Philistine and fight him, as David is still “a youth.” But David has faith in the Lord, and has experienced the Lord’s mercy and love before, so he trusts and is courageous in the face of danger.
"The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine,” David told Saul.
David did conquer the seasoned Philistine, Goliath – and he did it without a sword. His faith in God – his rock in battle – saved him.
I wonder what Saul’s response would have been in the beginning of this reading if he were not Saul, the King from the Old Testament but Paul, the apostle and saint from the New Testament with great faith in the Lord. Would he have doubted David’s ability to slay the Philistine? Perhaps. But he also would have had a great confidence that the Lord was with David - David who was choosing to be little and let the Lord be great.
As Jim Caviezel so beautifully tells us at the end of his speech: “Saul means great one. What does Paul mean? Little one. So if we wish to be great in the eyes of God …” We need to be little.
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.
In what ways is God calling you to become "little" in your life currently that He can be great in and through you?
How can you be like St. Paul and David, trusting in the Lord and letting Him lead you, instead of like Saul in this moment where he fears and does not trust?
David conquered Goliath through his great faith that God was with him always. In what ways might God be asking you today to take courage and faith in His presence in your life and His promise of faithfulness to 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.
"You are strong in my weakness."
"I am ready to be little."
"I trust in 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?
Find a concrete way in your daily life today to choose to be little instead of great. Maybe you can help someone in the hallway who dropped something, but not so that people notice what you did. Maybe after school today you can help a young sibling with their homework. Whatever it is, choose to be 'little' today by serving and loving others and letting God work through you, not so that you get any glory for what you've done.
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 Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C. 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.