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 have always loved the Scripture from today’s Gospel reading because it seems to highlight the reality of the Apostles' humanity. So often we put these early followers of Christ up on a pedestal, which can make it feel almost impossible to follow in their footsteps. But the petty drama we see them entering into today reminds us that we don’t have to be perfect to follow the Lord.
What I find struck me most as I read through this passage today wasn’t just the humanity of the Apostles, but Jesus’ response to them. We find James and John’s mother approaching the Lord, asking that he would give her sons a place of honor at his side. (Which I just love so much because what a classic mom move. I can just imagine James and John’s reaction, “Mom stop, you’re embarrassing us in front of our friends!” Such a funny image. But sorry, I digress.) And the Lord, he doesn’t respond by rebuking her genuine desire for her sons to have what is best for them; instead, he offers a gentle warning that perhaps the reality of what she’s asking for may not come to pass exactly as she imagines it:
“You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
Strong words from our Savior who is preparing to lay down his life for those he loves.
I am reminded today that so often I ask the Lord for what I do not understand. I am so convinced that I know what’s best for me, that I know how to satisfy the desires of my heart, but the Lord has challenged me today to reflect on all the times where that has turned out not to be the case. The Lord alone knows how to fulfill the desires of our hearts, and that often looks different than we expect it to. Let us ask the Lord today for the grace to surrender to his will and to trust that he alone knows how to satisfy our hearts.
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.
Which person in this story do you most relate to right now? The apostles' in a petty argument? The mom asking for her kids? The other apostles, watching the whole scene unfold?
What are the things in your life that you are asking God for right now? Are there any of them that you might simply be misunderstanding what he is doing? Ask him for the ability to see more clearly with his perspective on your situation!
How can you more fully surrender to the Lord today, knowing that he knows the desires of your heart better than you do?
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 long for you, Lord."
"Jesus, I trust that you know my heart."
"I surrender to 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?
Write down one of your worries, prayers, or desires you are bringing to the Lord today and put it in your Bible or another safe place. Look at again next week and see where the Lord is working in your life.
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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Illinois.
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.