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).
Congratulations! Today is the feast day of being Catholic! It's the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter!
You might be wondering: Why do we have a feast day for a chair?
When we say the "Chair" of St. Peter, we don't mean the thing he sat on. We mean that special role or "office" that the Pope -- the successor of St. Peter himself -- holds in the Church and in the world.
In today's gospel, St. Peter proclaims that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus affirms him and reveals to St. Peter -- and to us -- that this isn't something he figured out on his own. It was by divine intervention, so to speak, that St. Peter was able to make such a bold proclamation about Jesus. This tells us that the Chair of St. Peter isn't special because the Pope makes it special. The Pope is special because the Chair of St. Peter makes him special!
Here's the deal... In today's gospel, Jesus gives St. Peter an authority that is beyond human. It's divine. Jesus is clearly founding His Church, and He's starting with St. Peter. Jesus not only gives St. Peter an earthly authority, but he even grants him the special grace of heavenly authority.
Basically, this is the day that Jesus said, "Hey guys, this is MY Church. Get on my level!"
And the good news is that as a Catholic, this is YOUR Church! This is the Church that Jesus Christ Himself founded on St. Peter. And the Chair of St. Peter has given every Pope since then the same heavenly authority. The Catholic Church of today is the same Catholic Church that Jesus founded over 2,000 years ago! So we can say that OUR Church is JESUS' Church.
Guys! We're Catholic! Today give God thanks that He has made you Catholic! Whether you were born and raised Catholic or became Catholic later in life, Jesus sought you out and pursued you to bring you into His Church. Take courage and be at peace that you are in the Church that Jesus Himself founded!
Happy Feast day of being Catholic, everyone!
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 has been something that has called you deeper into your Catholic faith this year?
Who is one of your favorite Popes and why? If you don't have a favorite, start by learning about the most recent ones and see how awesome they are!
Why do you think God gave this special authority not only to Peter, but to all his successors, the Popes? How do you think the Holy Spirit works to protect that "office" so that it is always in line with the Father's will and stays Jesus' Church?
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.
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church."
"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?
Spend some time today learning about the Popes. They were all humans, they all made mistakes, but take a look at the ways that the Holy Spirit protected and guided the Church through it all. Pick one that really stands out to you as a positive and saintly role model, and ask for their intercession today.
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 Dan Wolff, High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.