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).
Have you ever thought you were putting the finishing touches on a project, only to have a teacher or supervisor come by and point out that it needs more work? You sigh, maybe feel irritation rise. You are not done after all.
Perhaps this is how Jesus’s disciples felt in today’s reading. They have just returned from their first “tours of duty” to preach Jesus’ message of repentance and healing. They reassemble, tired and hungry, and report back to Jesus about their work. But there are so many people around and so much commotion, that they can’t even get a bite to eat. Jesus sees their needs and says, “come away with me by yourselves to a deserted place.” They do not need convincing. They scramble into the boat and set out across the water, grateful to get away and unwind.
Imagine their sighs then, as they draw near their destination and discover that their deserted place is no longer deserted. It is teaming with people! And more people are streaming in from all directions.
Jesus sees all this mass of people, he takes in the efforts they have made to get there, he hears their clamoring, senses their needs and longings – and he is filled with compassion. He tells the Twelve that these people are like sheep without a shepherd. Come on, let’s keep going. And they row ashore and Jesus begins to teach them “many things” (and if we kept reading further, we would hear that he multiplies the loaves and fishes and feeds all these people as well.)
I love this story for its snapshot of what daily life with Jesus might have looked like – a jumble of exhilaration and exhaustion, commotion and calm. It can also speak to our own lives, and the constant tug between the demands of our work and our needs for rest and nourishment.
Jesus’ “work” was – and is – loving us. Thankfully, he is not bound by our human limitations. Jesus never sighs when he sees us scrambling around the shoreline in search of him. He never tires of hearing from us. In fact, hearing from us delights him!
Jesus knows that life can be bewildering. He sees our efforts, as lame as they may sometimes be. He sees our excitement, our exhaustion and our desires. Jesus wants to shepherd us through each and every moment. He will always row in to meet 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.
How have my actions, recent and past, affected my relationship with the Lord?
Knowing the consequences of my actions, how am I choosing the Lord every day?
Do I think He cares for me, even when I have sinned?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplation
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.
"Fortify my heart, Lord."
"Lead me not into temptation."
"Stay awake. Be prepared."
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?
Fortify your heart and recommit yourself to daily prayer. It may not be easy at first, but try it for the next week and see what an impact it can have on your life.
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 reflection was written by Liz Riegel.