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).
I am a parent of three fine young people. I am very proud of each of them. Still, of course, while they were growing up, there were moments when they’d do things that I had issue with. For instance, sometimes they’d get into arguments among themselves and, in my eyes, not treat each other as well as I would have liked. Out of all the behaviors that I found myself disagreeing with over their lives, this was the one that saddened me the most. You see, as their father, of course I love each of them individually, but I also love them as a group, for the three of them collectively are “my children.” When they would be at odds with each other, or be injurious to each other in any fashion, I would also feel injured personally. As their father, I’ve always wanted them to care for each other, to tend to each other’s well-being, to back each other up. I’ve always believed they had a very important and immensely impactful relationship between them. For each of them, there are only two other souls in the entire history of humanity that possess the designation of being their sibling.
Conversely, there have been many moments when they did do exactly as I desired, and built each other up, and helped each other out, and made each other feel better in times of sadness or difficulty. Naturally, these were the moments when I felt happiest for them.
In Isaiah today, there are a number of verses that describe some of what God wishes of us. He wants the “releasing of those bound unjustly” and the “setting free of the oppressed.” He wants us to “share our bread with the hungry” and “clothe the naked when you see them.” As I read this, it dawned on me that I wish the same of my three children, whom I love in my limited and human nature, that God wishes of all His children, whom he loves in his divine and infinite nature. He wants to see us care for and love each other.
If you have brothers or sisters, be good to them, for the love of your parents. As children of God, all of us are brothers and sisters as well; so, for the love of our Father in heaven, let all of us do our best to be good and loving to each other.
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.
What do you desire for my life Lord?
How can I best live out your desires for me?
What am I doing to 'share my bread with the hungry' and 'clothe the naked when I see them'?
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.
"I want to live out your desires for my life."
"I want to serve you."
"I want to love you more."
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?
Choose some way to serve others day. Maybe gather a bag of clothing to donate. Maybe give an hour at a soup kitchen. Maybe offer your time to sit with an elderly person.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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