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).
We have been “saved through the bath of rebirth,” (our baptism) and renewed by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ, so our lives should be radically different. Even though it is difficult, we “are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone” and obedient to those who are in authority over us. This sounds really simple, but it is really hard to live out.
Even we do not always agree with our leaders, we are called by Christ to obey them. There are a ton of authorities in our lives, like teachers, parents, and coaches, and we also have spiritual and political authorities too. As long as what they ask does not break any of God’s commandments, especially the commandment to love God above all else and to love your neighbor as yourself, then we are bound to obey their rules and requests. This requires respect for those who have authority over us, but it can be hard to respect someone just because of an office they hold. It’s a challenge we all face by God has given us the grace to overcome these difficulties and live according to love.
What if someone is a gossip and a bully? What if all they do is insult people and hurt those around them? Well, God still loves them, so we do too. We all sin and struggle with envy and our desires. Everyone has their problems and St. Paul shows us that, through Christ and His grace, we can turn away from all of our sins. When I try on my own to live by this passage and avoid envy, malice, and try to deny myself of my desires that are not of God, I often fail. We need God’s help, and it is available. Living according to grace, mercy, and love looks contrary to what is considered normal, but its the way that leads to joy and love.
We are so often told that, if it makes you feel good, then do it. However, our lives should be radically different as followers of Christ. This is our mission as Christians: to live out the love God has for us through our concrete actions of love and kindness, the actions that St. Paul mentions to Titus. We have the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and strengthen us to live according to God’s mercy and love. Even if we do fail sometimes, being rooted in prayer and through His mercy and grace, we all can live out this passage from Scripture as St. Paul encourages us to. This might be difficult and considered weird by some, but it is the road that leads to the greatest happiness and love that we could ever imagine.
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 do I struggle to be respectful and obedient?
What sins do I find myself repeatedly struggling? With God's grace, how can I begin to conquer these bad habits?
How can I live a radically different life as a follower of Christ?
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.
"Your grace is enough for me."
"I want to live for you, Lord."
"I will lead where you follow, 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?
Live out the love of God through concrete actions and kindness towards at least one person today. That kind of love is radical in and of itself. Take some time to pray for those that you have a hard time loving or obeying.
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 Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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