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’m busy. You’re busy. Life is busy. We don’t have any time for anything extra. We have to keep moving. But somehow, throughout our day, we find the time to “like” what our friends are doing. We find the time to “follow” celebrities in their day-to-day meanderings. We find the time to “post” about dramatic occurrences taking place in our friend groups. This busyness, paired with our love for social media, can lead us to a place of spiritual idleness.
Well guess what, the Thessalonians were idle, too.
Social Media is a beautiful thing. It connects us to long lost friends, it stores our memories in the form of a photo-stream; it organizes our lives, entertains us, and serves a platform to communicate (for better or for worse). But, in the race to keep up with the lives of so many others, I have found that I often forget about my own. I often put off my daily prayer, and stop working on my own relationship with God. Maybe you have had similar experiences?
This is where Paul’s words to the Thessalonians really hit home.
Paul is writing to an idle community, one that is full of people who have stopped working because they think the "second coming of Christ" is just beyond the horizon. Paul comes after these people with a strong message, a message that refutes entitlement and encourages hard work and perseverance.
“In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.”
Imagine if we held true to Paul's words today. What if we didn't pay any attention to the "busyness" of others and just worked as hard as we could on becoming exactly who God created us to be? I would bet that we would lead more faithful, peaceful, and joyful lives. Wouldn't you agree?
We should seek to imitate Christ in all things; in how we present ourselves to others (both online and off) in our work ethic, conversations, and in every moment of our lives.
Today, let us take a break from minding the business of others, and seek to better our own relationship with God. Let us not just sit and wait like the Thessalonians, expecting to be given something great. Let us work hard, pray harder, and thank God for every gift and blessing that we have ever been given.
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.
Do you find yourself becoming idle like the Thessalonians at times? What are the culprits - social media? Netflix? How is God trying to challenge you in those areas of your life?
Do you focus more on the business of others than on the task placed in front of you? What are some tasks God has called you to that you can grow by working diligently on today?
What sort of "breaks" do you put into your day where you put down the distractions and focus on what is important? Does God really come first or do you just fit Him in when the business of others is boring you?
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 choose You."
"I love You."
"I will follow 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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Make a plan for how you will "work hard, pray harder, and thank God for every gift" today. Plan time for prayer, time to take care of the tasks given to you, and time to stop and just thank God. Don't neglect those times.
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 Connor Flanagan, a Youth Minister and Catholic Musician who lives in St. Paul, MN.