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 wrote two-thirds of a meditation about how today’s Gospel reflected a major life experience post college. Then, I watched a priest’s mass homily about justice and equality and decided to save that reflection for another day.
With all the unrest in our country, the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for all of us, but for me especially as an African American man. I would be remiss if I didn’t take a chance to write about it.
Here’s the thing, racial injustice will continue to run deep in our culture until more people stop being silent and start using their voice. What I’ve learned about the stories of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, is no one should have to be perfect to deserve justice or simply the right to live. But if you browse social media, you would think otherwise. The problem is we live in a society where people only want to follow what already supports their beliefs. It’s that “feel good” narrative.
Throughout the Gospel, Jesus preached to His followers about the dangers of judging others. That rings true in today’s Gospel reading, where we learn what’s done in the dark will be revealed in the light. A statement, which teaches us to be cautious about judging others. We’ve all had our past. It doesn’t mean we’re the authority on someone else’s present or future. Even a thief on the cross got the chance to right his mistakes.
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 judged someone just by the way they looked or appeared? How does this not respect their dignity?
When have you ever thought that someone "deserved" something evil because of something they did? How does this not respect their dignity?
How can you love someone, even if they have made some big mistakes? How can you still honor their dignity?
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.
"Jesus I trust in You."
"Lord, have mercy."
"Teach me to love."
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?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Brandon Hudson, a news reporter in Philadelphia, PA.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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