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).
Recently, I was pretty snarky to someone I work with. I shared my response with a friend, and they said, "did you really respond like that?" I was ashamed to say that I did. I felt like it was justified because my co-worker continuously treats me terribly, but that's really not true. Meanness and snarkiness isn't really ever justified.
Today's Gospel reminds me of this. "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you." The Lord is telling us that we will be treated how we treat others. Even He will treat us how we treat others.
When we hold back forgiveness, we're telling Him to hold back forgiveness.
When we're snarky in our replies, we're telling others to be snarky to us.
When we condemn people for their faults, we're asking them and the Lord to condemn us.
We aren't better than anyone else. As the old saying goes, "everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time." We're all sinners. We all mess up. We all choose our own way over the Lord's way.
Elsewhere in the Gospel the Lord tells us to "turn the other cheek." He's telling us to endure the ridicule and choose to love in return. Love doesn't mean being a doormat. It doesn't mean telling people that their sin is okay and justified. Love was my friend saying, "Did you really say that? Did you mean to be that snarky toward someone else?"
Love convicts me. It convicts me to choose kindness over snarkiness. It convicts me to choose holiness over my own will.
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.
When you want to be snarky with someone what do you do? Do you give into the snarkiness?
When you are mistreated by someone, how do you treat them back?
When you do mess up? How do you return to the Lord and seek forgiveness?
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.
"Love convicts me."
"Love, not snarkiness."
"Help me show mercy."
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?
Today, when you want to be snarky or sassy with someone, instead respond with love and each time offer up a prayer for the person.
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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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evangelization consultant living in North Carolina.
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.