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 Gospel shows something very important that Jesus did, something that can help you and I immensely as we seek to follow him. Unfortunately, stories like this are often co-opted for a purpose. We've probably all heard it: "Jesus didn't like the rules! What we see here is Jesus clearly showing that he didn't like religious rules and was just all about a personal relationship with the Father. So don't worry about Mass or any of those other silly rules."
It's important that we take a moment to realize what is really happening here in order to understand why that interpretation simply doesn't stick. Jesus and his disciples are walking along, and they're hungry. There is grain growing next to the path, and so they grab it and eat something.
At the time, the Pharisees were known for incredible scrupulosity towards the rules. They would add all kinds of crazy stipulations to rules in order to be sure that it was intense and difficult to follow rules, often including loopholes that only they truly understood. When they see this, their sense of "religion" is offended because, strictly speaking, this was against the rules.
When they call out Jesus for this, he does two things:
What is really happening here is not an outright rejection of rules and of the Sabbath. No, in fact, Jesus just helps them to see what the Sabbath is truly for: worship of Him. All of the rules – fasting, going to Mass, the 10 Commandments, all of it – are simply about worship of Jesus. At the end of the day, we need the rules because without them we'd be lost trying to figure out what to do and where to turn our attention, but the rules are not the end in themselves. It's all about Jesus.
For you and I this weekend, let's be sure we get to Mass. And maybe to confession if we need to or haven't in a while. And in all of it, let's rest in the worship of the One who is Lord of the Sabbath, for he is the only one who is worthy of our worship, and all that we do is for him.
Jesus our Lord, we love you, we worship you, and we long desperately to know what it means to truly let you be Lord of each and every moment 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.
In your life, how have you allowed the Sabbath to lose its meaning? Do you miss Mass or not pay attention when you're there? Are you selfish with your time on this day instead of giving it to the Lord?
How have you allowed the "rules" that help you practice the faith became merely things you do and not aimed at truly worshipping God?
In what ways does Jesus long to be Lord of your life today that he is not already? Take some time to invite him into every part of your life that you have not fully let him take control of yet!
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 Lord."
"All glory be to you."
"Jesus, 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?
Truly make the most of your Sunday worship this week. Go to usccb.org/bible/readings and read the readings before you get there. Pay attention to the time so that you arrive to Mass early and prepare your heart. After Mass, stay for a moment and thank God!
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.