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).
The second reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans today hits the nail on the head with a message that our world so desperately needs to hear today. In a culture that constantly asks, “How much can I GET?” St. Paul reminds us of our call to live in the image of Our Lord’s sacrifice, asking instead, “How much can I GIVE?”
This is a question that is written into the very sacramental life of the Church from the very beginning of our life in Christ through Baptism. While celebrations of Baptism tend to focus on new life in Christ, Baptism itself is predicated upon death: a dying of the self only to experience a resurrection of the spirit entering into Christian life.
The Baptismal symbol of water captures this dynamic quite nicely. At once, water represents a drowning of the old self and the nourishing/sustaining of new life, mirroring Christ’s own death on the Cross, which is intimately tied to His Resurrection, the extent to which we are made for self-gift.
This is a dynamic that is initiated in Baptism and further cultivated in all of the Sacraments thereafter. Pondering this reality takes me back to my own entrance into the Sacrament of Marriage. Following the liturgy, my wife’s matron of honor offered a speech at our reception. She began, “Today, you begin to DIE.”
These words constituted a major wake-up call for all present, and St. Paul initiates the same for us and the Romans to whom he writes today. They are meant to provoke us into remembering that our lives are not our own. Rather, as Gaudium et Spes highlights,
"The Lord Jesus, when he prayed to the Father 'that all may be one ... as we are one' (Jn 17: 21-22), opened up vistas closed to human reason. For he implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons and the union of God's children in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of self."
Our Lord’s call to us today is the same as it was to the Romans through St. Paul many centuries ago: more of Him, less of us. Let us die to ourselves, allowing the waters of our Baptism to wash away sin and sustain us for sincere life in Christ.
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.
In a culture that constantly asks, “How much can I GET?," instead ask yourself, “How much can I GIVE?”
How can you continually unite yourself to Christ's death and Resurrection?
How do you daily live for God?
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.
"Rise with Him to new life."
"Live for God."
"Death has no power."
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?
Focus not on what you receive today, but on what you can give.
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 Antonio Marchi, Program Manager for St. Joseph County Right to Life in South Bend, IN, and Jennifer Marchi, K-8 Resource Teacher at Mishawaka Catholic School in Mishawaka, IN.