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).
Every christian, from time to time asks herself or himself, “Is my faith strong enough for me to be a martyr.” This question is for many of us, just a thought experiment. For most Christians in North America, following the faith can be relatively comfortable. Sure, we may face pressure from people online, or perhaps get weird looks when we eat fish on fridays, but as difficult and awkward as those social situation are, it's not martyrdom. At least, it doesn’t seem to be the kind of martyrdom Jesus is talking about. So the question remains, “Is my faith strong enough that I could be a real martyr?” The thing is, being a martyr really isn’t about your or me or how strong we are. It's about witnessing to Jesus Christ.
Jesus reminds his disciples that God will always be with them. He is sending them the Holy Spirit, the Advocate who testifies to the Truth of who God is and what He has done for humanity. When we witness we don’t do it alone, we do it with the help of the Spirit. So then, our focus should not be so much about what may happen in the future (though we should keep in mind that we will be challenged in the faith), instead, our focus must be on what is right in front of us: Jesus. He invites to to be friends with him, to be with him “from the beginning,” to remember all he has done for us. Martyrs don’t witness out of strength, they witness out of love, and by the Holy Spirit, this is something we all can do.
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 have you been called to witness your faith? When have you succeeded? When have you failed?
How can you witness your faith out of love?
What holds you back from witnessing your faith?
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.
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Make me a witness."
"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?
Be a witness today. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and take the opportunities He gives you to be a witness.
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 Fr. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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