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 had a friend in college who was a master at one-upping you. If you found a dollar on the ground, she found a $20. If you had a rough day, she had a worse one. If you had a great day, she had a better one. If you had an extra scoop of ice cream for free, she got paid to get ice cream. Okay, that last one is an exaggeration – I mean, who pays you to get ice cream?!
It was exhausting being her friend though because you couldn’t ever tell a story. The same thing, only worse or better or grander happened to her too and you were made to feel small. As I was reading Paul’s list in today’s first reading, I was reminded of her. People complained that they couldn’t walk to evangelize because they had a tiny rock in their shoe … well, Paul had a thorn in his side. They were persecuted for following the way because they were Hebrew, so was he. They were hungry, he was imprisoned. They were tired, he was toiling in the desert. You name it, it happened to him!
But he doesn’t boast about any of it. He says, “I won’t tell you how strong I am, I’ll tell you how weak I am. I’ll tell you where I’m failing, where I’m falling, where I haven’t done enough.” Instead of boasting about the two men who were healed, he tells you about the 250 people he couldn’t help because his faith wasn’t strong enough. Instead of bragging about the souls he saved through Baptism, he tells you about the people he wasn’t able to reach because he couldn’t speak their language to relate the Good News to them.
Have you ever boasted of your weaknesses? I mean, actually boasted about them – not just in false humility said you weren’t good at something to fish for a compliment. I think we’ve all fished for compliments!
Why does Paul boast in his weaknesses? I think it’s because people are looking at what the Lord is doing and thinking that it’s all Paul. He wants to make sure we know it’s not Paul, it’s Jesus. He wants us to be Baptized in Christ Jesus, sacrificing for Jesus, recognizing Jesus, sharing the message of Jesus. We are the instruments, Jesus is the one who is using us. AND He uses us in our weakness, because of our weakness, not in spite of it.
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.
Have to identified your weaknesses and asked the Lord to show up in your life during the times when you are weak?
Are you focused on all the things you're doing to serve the Lord and making sure people know you're doing a good job or doing enough?
How much are you worried about how people see you? Are you afraid of exposing your weakness to allow God or others to work in those areas and showcase their strengths?
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.
"Lord I need you."
"Lord come into my weakness."
"Lord I trust 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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take some time to pray with the song, "Lord I need you." This version is at World Youth Day in Rio. Take some time today to open yourself up to the weaknesses in your life and ask the Lord to shine forth through them so people see only Him!
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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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.