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).
“Remain in my love.” This is what Jesus tells us today in the Gospel. “Remain in my love.” But what does that mean? To remain means to stay put. When we remain in God’s love, that means that we stay wrapped in the amazing love God has for each of us. How do we remain in God’s love? Jesus tells us that too: “keep my commandments.”
Why do we have these commandments anyway? Why does the Church give us so many rules we have to live by? Doesn’t that make life less fun?!
I have questioned this in my own life and have listened to talks about describing why we have them. Here's what I've come to know: these commandments are given out of love for me. The commandments are not harsh rules given so we don’t have fun in this life. On the contrary, Jesus tells us that if we do this our joy will be complete. Jesus wants us to have true joy in our lives!
It’s true that I’ve never killed anyone, so I’ve kept the 5th commandment! However, following the commandments is not always that easy. We are all sinners in need of God’s mercy and love to save us. Although the commandments seem pretty straightforward and easy to follow, they are the umbrella in which our sin falls under.
When we do our best to follow the commandments, our joy is truly complete because we remain in God’s love. We are sinners and we will fail, but God knows we are not perfect. God wants us to be perfect, but He also knows we can’t do that on our own (that is why we have the sacrament of confession). We should not be discouraged by this, however, because God wants us to lean in closer to Him so He can help us on this journey. The commandments are one way that he shows us His love. By giving us the commandments, He is saying that living your life this way will bring you closer to me. following the commandments is not earning His love, instead they are how we grow our relationship with Him.
From personal experience, when I do not pray or follow the commandments like I should, my life feels like chaos. I don’t really understand how it works, but I have found when I make time for God, God makes time for everything else in my life. The world around us is spinning pretty fast and it seems time goes by faster each year. If I do not slow down and take the time to remain in God’s love, I will not attain true and lasting joy.
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.
When I am in a state of grace how is my life? Do I feel more joyful? Is it easier to stay close to God when I am in a state of grace?
God gave me the 10 Commandments as a way to let me know His love for me, just like my parents have rules for me (curfew, don't touch a hot stove, etc.). Do these commandments make me feel loved? Why or why not?
How is the joy that God offers me different than the joy the world offers?
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.
"I want to remain in your love."
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you."
"My joy is complete."
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?
When is the last time you made a good examination of conscience? Try to make one today. (If you don't have one you like, you can use this one). If you need to try and go to confession today (or this week) so you can experience God's love and mercy.
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 Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Cape Girardeau, MO.
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