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 noticed that there are tons of shows and movies that have a plot lines with a main character lying about their identity, personhood, or talents to either impress another character, or to win a reward of some kind?
Watching those stories unfold is very hard to watch. Although it is meant to display humor and sticky situations that unfold when you lie, it can be easily spotted that this plan will not work. We all know the main character will confess their facade, hurt others in the process, and are forgiven and concluded with a feel good ending.
When reading today’s Gospel, we can learn from those fictional characters that living a double life is never what we are meant to do. It’s exhausting to keep up with, we hurt others, and we can end up confused by our actions. To help us see this, the Lord gave us the Parable of new cloth on an old cloth and new wine which will perish if poured in old wine skins.
When we have encountered Christ in our lives, we can be rushed away with feelings of being zealous for Him and our faith; yet it can take a very long time to change the atmosphere we choose to put ourselves in. There may be a temptation to hold on to worldly desires or habits we had before this life-changing encounter. It couldn’t be that hard to pray every day before school, but still gossip with our friends at the lunch table, right? What’s the harm in partying on the weekends, then showing up for Church on Sundays?
These ways that may seem small, actually make a big impact on our relationship with Jesus. When we become a new creation in Christ, we cannot just be plopped back into all of our old routines of life. If you sew a new piece of cloth into fabric that is used and worn, it will tear the fabric and will make the tear worse! An old wineskin would stretch and spoil the new batch of wine, ruining something due to its old and used surroundings. If we are cleansed and purified through the Sacraments where Christ’s love is manifested to us, then there is a responsibility on our part to rid ourselves of lifestyle choices that will spoil our new cleansed selves in Christ.
This parable doesn’t translate to: go shut down everyone and everything in your life that is not super Catholic! But to set our priorities in line with virtues that we aspire for, and analyze what in our present lives distracts us from those virtues. Let us be reminded to not conform to how the world sees us, but rather conform to Christ’s truth that we are new creations and set up to thrive in His profound love at every moment.
What are the priorities in my life and are they leading me to Jesus or away from Him? Lord, help me to live as the new creation, the new wine, You’ve created me to be and help me to place myself in an atmosphere that reflects You and not myself.
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 are the priorities of my life?
In what ways has my relationship with Jesus not changed the way that I live my life?
How can I allow Jesus even today to change the sinful or imperfect parts of me and instead make me into a new creation in His 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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Make me a new creation."
"You are first, Lord."
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?
Either your parish or a neighboring one almost certainly has confession today. GO! Get to the Sacrament and allow God to forgive you of the ways you didn't allow His love to change your life and then move forward from the Sacrament making him a priority.
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 Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, 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.