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).
It's hard to be a Christian. It's hard to be Catholic. It was hard before the priest scandals broke again, and now some days it feels even harder. But at the end of the day, my faith is rooted in the fact that Jesus came to save us and that He established our Church.
I love our Church (and love is truly proven when it's hard.) I love that we have two thousand years of tradition, of doctrine leading us. I love that people who are smarter than me and holier than me have spent their lives writing our teachings so that we can be united in following them. Our faith doesn't allow for my truth or your truth. It proclaims one truth and doesn't waiver from it when times are hard.
This truth is hard to proclaim. It's hard to share in our schools or in our workplaces. It's hard to share sometimes even with our family and our friends. The first reading today tells us that it will be hard, and the gospel today tells us we must proclaim the truth with love. We must continue to give and give the cloaks off our backs to those who mock us. Our culture today tells us it must be an eye for an eye, that standing up for our truth means angrily fighting back. It means yelling at each other on social media. But what does that actually solve? I don't think it solves anything.
I think Jesus is showing us the path right now. He shows us that we must not back down even if standing up might mean we get hit again. It means giving more to the one that mocks us. Practically speaking, it means being kind to the one that is not kind to us. It means loving our neighbor even if they disagree and berate us. It means always welcoming and treating others with respect.
Jesus loved us radically. We need his example to help us love others radically. People should know that we are Christians and Catholics not by the arguments we get into on Facebook but by how much we love those around us.
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.
Why are you Catholic?
How can you love others more like Jesus did?
How can you respond to the next person that disagrees with 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.
"One holy Catholic Apostolic Church."
"Lord I need you."
"Let me love like Jesus."
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?
What is one teaching of the Church you have a hard time understanding the truth of? Take time and research it. And/or who is someone in your life that is hard to love? How can you love them better?
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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