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).
In today’s Gospel Christ is talking a lot about peace. He says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” You probably recognize the first part of this quote from the Mass. This is something the priest says right before we give the sign of peace. However, Christ didn’t just say this to be some kind of prompting for us to make peace with those around us at Mass. There is something much greater going on here and something that you, and I, and the world desperately need to understand.
Let us look at that first part “peace I leave you; my peace I give to you”. As with all things, Christ is promising abundance. Simply put, the peace that Christ is talking about here is true, genuine and lasting. Christ’s promise comes to us in two ways. The first is through his death on the cross. When Christ died for our sins he also died that we may know true peace in him, on earth and in heaven. The second way that he leaves his peace with us is found in the Holy Spirit who is to come after Him, and who, if we pray to, can give us the peace we need.
However, instead of running to the Prince of Peace we run to the things of this world far too often. This brings us to the second part of that quote. “Not as the world gives do I give to you”. The world so desperately desires peace but unfortunately, we look for it in places that give us, at the most, momentary peace. Whether that is through social media, video games, drugs, alcohol, or pornography. These things may give us a momentary escape from the world, but that is all that they can ever promise. We are all searching for the peace of Christ, but settling for something that will only ever bring greater anxiety. After we are done searching for peace in these things, we find ourselves needing more of it and never truly being satisfied or comforted. This by its very definition is not the peace that Christ promises.
St. Augustine famously tells us “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.” The peace or rest Augustine is talking about is the same peace Christ is offering to you right now.
Today, in your prayer, ask God to give you peace- true peace. And in those moments when you feel tempted to settle for something this world offers us, run back to Christ, the Prince of Peace.
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.
How am I missing peace in my life right now?
In which ways that the world is offering peace am I filling my anxious heart?
How have I experienced the lasting peace of God in my life before?
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.
"You are the Prince of Peace."
"Give me lasting peace."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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 stock of all the moments you feel anxious today and write them down. At the end of your day, invite the Lord's peace into each moment that made you feel anxious. Let Christ fill your life with his peace!
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 Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.
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