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).
“The head of John the Baptist.”
Whenever I hear those words, I shudder. It sounds like a line from the mouth of an evil villain in a superhero movie. John the Baptist was a revolutionary; from his birth, he was meant to proclaim Jesus Christ. He shook up society and prepared them for the start of Jesus’s public ministry. People thought he was the Messiah, but John the Baptist always pointed them towards Christ. Some of his followers became the very first Christians!
Herod became very challenged by John’s growth in popularity after John baptized Jesus in the Jordan. However, John the Baptist never felt challenged or scared by King Herod. In fact, we can see in our gospel reading today that John even admonished Herod by saying it was wrong to marry his brother’s wife. John the Baptist was not scared because he knew his true home was not on this Earth. He didn’t want approval of earthly leaders or any recognition, but he always pointed everyone around him to Jesus Christ. If that meant being unpopular in the eyes of the world, so be it.
John the Baptist’s true courage has always been inspiring to me. How can I be more like him in the world today? At college, I occasionally have to deal with professors who say things that are against Church teaching. Maybe next time, I can courageously speak up in defense like John the Baptist instead of cowering in the back row behind my laptop screen as I’m taking notes. Make yourself knowledgeable about our Lord and the beliefs we hold as Catholics and defend our Church as best as you can. We truly are bearers of the One, Holy, and Apostolic faith!
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.
Lord, how can I practice courageous faith in order to proclaim your Kingdom on Earth?
Jesus, who am I in your eyes?
Is there anyone in my life that I could tell about Jesus today?
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 will follow."
"I will hold nothing back."
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?
If you have time today, read the Nicene Creed. We say it so fast in Mass that we don't truly know the words it possesses! Believe the tradition that has been passed down for over two thousand years.
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 Sarah Lundgren.