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).
When I was younger I became completely swept up in the skateboarding fad of the late 90’s- early 2000’s. I mean, every chance I had to watch the X-Games with the classic, big-name skateboard legends like Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, and the like, I did. I even bought a skateboard and started trying to learn how to ride it. As time went on, I began to move from just watching on TV and being a beginner who could barely stand on the board to a much more practiced disciple of the skateboarding movement. I started to buy the clothing, the skateboarding shoes, investing way too much of my middle school allowance into gear and hardware to make myself seem much more legitimate of a skateboarder.
I remember encountering people during that period who were wearing DC or Etnies shoes and asking them if they also skateboarded. Most would say no and that they only had the shoes to look the part and seem cool. It seemed like overnight everyone had skateboarding shoes, hoodies, etc. and I was practically the only one who actually skateboarded. I recall in those times, my immature middle school self would become so angry at these “posers” who were just wearing the clothing to seem cool. There were even people who pretended or talked about being skateboarders just to impress others…and it worked! Meanwhile, I was the one going out every day with friends to find the best new places to skate and practice; I was the one breaking boards, wearing through shoes, cutting and scraping my wrists, knees, and getting banged up trying to be a better skateboarder. I was so upset by how people could simply pretend to be skateboarders and not even commit to the actual life of skateboarding.
Today, in our responsorial psalm, we’re confronted with a God who feels much like middle school me did about “posers”. God asks the people why they recite his statutes and profess his covenant while they actually don’t live it out. You see, God calls us to not only put on the metaphorical sweatshirts and shoes of being a Christian while not actually live it out in the practice of our lives. It’s so funny how we are able to be offended by hypocrites but yet we’re so good at becoming them. Jesus himself, at multiple points in the Gospels, explicitly denounces hypocrites for the way they present themselves as disciples but yet fail to live it out.
Today is a gut-check time for all of us. God is calling us to take a hard look at our lives; are we professing faith in him and calling ourselves disciples of the Lord by the works that we do and the way we love both God and neighbor? Or are we simply putting on the look of a Christian and living directly opposed to his call to holiness?
Don’t be a hypocrite. If you want to be a Christian it requires sacrifice and praise to God, just like being a skateboarder means putting in the blood and sweat that comes from a life of practicing the sport. Be a real disciple- be someone that loves the Lord and your neighbor and praises God through all that you do, not just someone who pretends.
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.
Where in your life do you need to better practice being a Christian? What is one practical step you could take today?
Are you fake following Jesus? Or are you really committed?
Why do you want to follow the Lord? How can you be all in?
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 am yours."
"Make me a disciple."
"Help me seek 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 a good, real look at your life. What are you committed to? How can you increase your commitment to the Lord to be a disciple and not a poser?
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 Adam Smyth, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.
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