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 talk about the Catholic faith with young people (middle schoolers, high schoolers, and young adults alike) for a living. And something I hear often from the individuals I’m walking with is that Catholicism, with all of the teachings and all of the doctrine, is so very confusing. And, listen, I get it. When we look at the Church and all that She teaches and instructs us, it can sometimes feel like the Catholic faith is just a bunch of rules about what we can and cannot do.
But at the heart of our faith is a person, the person of Jesus Christ and when that person came to earth He left us with one super simple (but super demanding) commandment, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). This one command reveals to us that all of the teaching, all of the doctrine given to us by the Church is just the practical application of what it looks like to love one another as Christ has loved us. This one command brings our focus back to the most important part of what we believe as Catholics: relationship with Christ.
John the Baptist got this. In this time of Jesus and John the Baptist, the Jewish people were still bound to the 613 laws given to them by Moses years and years before. But John the Baptist was still able to see, in the midst of a culture defined by rules and regulations, that Jesus was at the heart of everything.
I think sometimes we can get so focused on getting it right all the time, on holding fast to all the rules and regulations. Our sight can become so set on what it means to be a “good Catholic” that we forget that relationship with Christ, keeping our eyes focused on the Word Made Flesh, is at the heart of it all. So this Christmas season let’s take the time to refocus our gaze back on the Lord. Let us, through the intercession of John the Baptist, remember that Jesus came to Earth so that we might enter into a new kind of relationship with Him, one where we are able to call Him friend and brother.
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.
Are you focused on your personal relationship with Jesus? Or are you more focused on following "the rules"?
What do you do to keep up your relationships with friends? Do you do the same with Jesus?
How can you grow deeper in your relationship with God? How can you center your faith on Him?
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 need you."
"I want to know you more."
"I love 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?
Spend an extra fifteen to thirty minutes in addition to your daily prayer today. Use that time to know God more and really focus in on growing closer to Jesus.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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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