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, Jesus tells us some simple things with some really complicated applications. Think about it: we are told to remain Jesus’ love and follow His commandments. It sounds simple to love God and others, and to follow Jesus always. However, we know that this is not as easy as it sounds, and you bet Jesus knows it.
Every day is filled with challenges. There are people you have to deal with at school, at work, on your team or in your club, and at home with family members too. Life is not easy, and it is not always easy to love others as Christ calls us to. When we fail to love others, we probably aren't remaining in God's love either. It can be really lonely trying to face all these difficulties on your own. Even with a friend or family member that you can tell anything to, going through hardships can be really lonesome. But, in those times where it is difficult to love and you fail to follow God’s commands, which we all do, Jesus is there with you. He feels your struggle and knows your pain, anger, or annoyance.
Whatever you might be going through, you are not alone. These daily challenges, the big and small, are not meant to get you down or to pull you away from God, but they are invitations to rely more on Him and to ask for His help. Alone, we cannot remain in His love by our own power or love God and others as He has commanded us to. We need grace and He gives it to us when we ask for it. Jesus is with us and He has sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us through our days, through the good and the bad, to help us remain in His love and to follow His commandments.
Then comes the question: why put in the effort to remain in His love and follow the Commandments? So that our joy may be complete. True joy and happiness comes from God's love and we remain in that love through prayer, receiving the sacraments, and following God's commands. Again, we need His help to receive this joy, but it is so worth the effort. Real happiness and fulfilment do not come from popularity, good grades, a high-paying job, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. It comes from God and His love alone. So, put in the effort and ask for Jesus’s help with the confidence of knowing that the Holy Spirit is by your side. Follow God and love those around you as you go.
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 is a struggle you face daily that pulls you away from God's love or that you struggle to face with patience and love? In what ways do you need God's help to face this situation?
How often do you call on the Holy Spirit for help? What is something you can do to grow in your relationship with the Holy Spirit?
Where do you find joy in your life? Are you open to finding true joy in Christ? How can you be more joyful today?
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.
"Help me follow you."
"I want to remain in your love."
"I love 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?
Today, focus on remaining in God's love and following His commandments. When you find yourself losing peace and joy and falling into anger or impatience or whatever it may be, ask the Holy Spirit for help. Ask Him for the grace you need to remain loving and focused on God's love and loving others as Christ does.
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.
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.