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).
One word you can always expect to hear from John is "love." We hear this word many times in his Gospel and letters. So what does he mean here and why is it so important that it literally becomes a new commandment?
First thing, we need to realize what love is. Love is more than a feeling. It is more than romance or family, or best friends. Love is an all out gift of yourself. A gift of who you are, but not so you can get something in return, but simply for the other person. St. Thomas Aquinas says that love is "willing the good of the beloved." It looks different depending on your relationship with that person, but love is always selfless and always serving.
Sounds easy right? Obviously not, but it is even harder because we don't often experience this kind of perfect love from our family or friends. That is why Jesus clarifies it saying... "as I have loved you, so you also should love one another." This tells us the exact type of love that God wants us to strive for, the love that will show we are Christians. A love that serves, teaches, endures, and lays down its life for the beloved.
In a society that equates love to blind acceptance and/or a fleeting physical expression, it is hard for us to truly follow Christ's new commandment. Actually, if we use today's definition of "love", it wouldn't be hard at all, but it also wouldn't be love. It wouldn't be selfless and willing to die for the good of the beloved. It would only worry about good vibes and good feelings. Let's stop living by society's new commandment of love and live by Christ's new commandment of love... to love like He loved us, even when it's tough, even when it hurts. Let's look to the Cross to see what true love is; a love that truly does endure all things. A love that gave everything for its beloved... us.
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.
What are some ways you have experienced real authentic Christ-like love?
What are some ways you have shared real authentic Christ-like love?
How can you better follow this new commandment and love like Christ more?
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.
"Jesus, I love You."
"Teach me how to love."
"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?
Do something selfless today. Give in a way that does not seek anything in return. Find a way to love someone like you think Christ would.
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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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.