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 like to think that I’ve always been a rebel. My family would probably tell you that I’m more stubborn than anything else, but I feel like referring to myself as “naturally rebellious” sounds a bit better, so I’m going to stick with that. Regardless of what you call it, growing up I always possessed a natural inclination to do things differently everyone else. When all of my friends were listening to The Jonas Brothers, I was listening to Simple Plan (10 points to anyone who actually knows who those bands are). When all of my classmates were getting new IPhones, I thought it would be cool and vintage to keep my janky Motorola flip phone. When all of my friends were watching High School Musical…okay let’s be honest I was also watching it, but I wasn’t proud to admit it. You see, I always felt like it was cool to stand up for what I liked and I wasn’t willing to change for anyone.
But while my rebelliousness could sometimes be a positive quality, it was also a dangerous one. I might have been quick to stand firm in what I believed in, even in the face of adversity, but I was also quick to harden my heart without really thinking much of it. And while at first I was just hardening my heart to Ugg boots and the Jonas Brothers, it soon became all too easy to harden my heart in more serious areas: in friendships, within my family, and even in my relationship with God.
Now whether you’re a rebel or not, we’ve all hardened our heart for some reason or another.
Maybe you’ve hardened your heart in smaller ways (like towards the Chicago Cubs because you grew up a White Sox fan), or maybe you’ve hardened your heart in bigger ways (like in your relationship with God, because you’ve been hurt by people you were close to). Either way, hardening our hearts can be dangerous. Just look at the Samaritans from today’s Gospel. The Jewish people had long feuded with the Samaritans. Their hardness of heart towards one another ran so deeply that the Samaritans that Christ and his apostles encountered would not even let them pass through because they were on their way to Jerusalem (where the Jewish people worshiped). These Samaritans rejected the God of the Universe because they were set in their hardened ways. And while it might be easy for me to judge them for that, if I’m being honest, there have been multiple moments in my on life when I’ve done the very same thing.
Hardening our heart is easy, but the Lord has not called us to do what is easy, he has called us to follow him, to be like him who’s heart was entirely open, laid bare on the cross for all to see. And today as we spend some time in prayer, let us unite our own hearts to the heart of Christ so that we might never become too hardened to receive him.
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.
Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer and then take some time to reflect on the past week. Where can you see that God moved in your life this week (in big or small ways)?
Are there any situations/experiences in your life that might have caused you to close your heart off to God?
Has there ever been a time when you, like the Samaritans, rejected God because of a hardness of heart?
What is one practical thing you can do to be sure that your heart is open and ready to receive Christ, specifically when you go to receive him in the Eucharist?
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 trust in you."
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.” –Mother Teresa
"Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Throughout the rest of your day, say the words, “Jesus, I trust in you,” in your heart whenever you have a free moment.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Lauren Wright, an Adore Missionary and Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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