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).
“Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Jesus’ message in today’s Gospel is so simple, so clear, and yet can be so challenging for us to wrap our heads around in any kind of practical way. Jesus says if you want to be great, you have to become a servant. That is definitely not easy. I bet that for many of you, you love service. Maybe you are part of a club at school or you always make sure you sign up for any service projects at youth group. However, being a servant is not just about serving others in those moments or events. While yes, these are important and are certainly a good and noble undertaking, I would challenge you to look at service in a different way and not as an aid to your community, but service to your friends and family.
So often it is the people that we are closest to that we treat the worst, which is awful when we think about the fact that these are the people that we should be loving and serving the most. Maybe it is because we know too much about these people and it makes it hard to see past that, or maybe it is because they know us so well that that we feel so insecure and inadequate when it comes to servings them. Regardless of our own hang-ups, we need to be serving and loving those who are closest to us before we serve the strangers of our community.
I will not pretend like this will be super easy for all of you. You may feel like there is no way you could ever serve or love a person after what they have done to you. That may be true, but serving is not always about doing. Serving can be forgiving someone, it can be listening to someone, and it could be as simple as taking a genuine interest in someone’s day. The sooner we can realize that service is about loving someone simply because they are worthy of love, and not for any selfish sense of accomplishment for doing a good thing. The greatness Jesus speaks about in today’s passage starts in the home, it starts with your family. If you cannot be great to those nearest to you, then how can you ever truly and sincerely be great to the strangers you encounter?
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 current service initiatives are you involved in? Who are you directly serving through those initiatives?
Who are the people you are closest to? How can you better serve them today?
How is service a reflection of Christ's love?
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.
"Teach me how to serve."
"Let me be your servant."
"Grant me a servant's heart."
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.
Make of list of the 5 people you are closest to, and choose at least 2 of them to serve in a tangible way today.
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 Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.