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 often struggle with this gospel. On one hand, I am in awe of John the Baptist and I want to better emulate his humility. But on the other hand, sometimes I feel very called out and I get defensive.
My problem is, I love the limelight. I love being the center of attention. I love when people come around me to listen to my stories or see me do something silly or laugh at my jokes. I am a musician and an actor and a teacher and I love performing. I have made a fool of myself to get a laugh. I’ve been loud and overly dramatic to get a few heads turned my way. I definitely do not do well when my light is hidden under a bushel. No! I want to let it shine!
You smiled, didn’t you?
See what I did there?
Now all of these qualities and characteristics are not inherently bad. But what was bad was that I was trying to get people to focus on me. Did you notice how many times I said the word “me”? Or the word “I”?
Quite a bit.
And so if I’m spending all this time trying to get people to see me, to pay attention to me, to validate my existence and affirm me, then I am pulling their attention away from God. What I should be doing is using these gifts and talents to bring people closer to God. He must increase; I must decrease.
And so what if we acted more like John the Baptist? What if we used our gifts with the same vigor and intensity that we use to bring ourselves glory, and instead give God the glory? Imagine the impact we could have on the world. Imagine the way people’s lives would be changed. We will rejoice greatly when others hear God’s voice and come to know Him. Our joy will be made complete.
Reflect on your own gifts and talents. Do you use them to bring yourself or God glory? If you try to bring yourself the attention, in what ways do you need to change your mindset or the way you use your gifts to point the focus to God? Ask yourself - when people look at me, do they see me, or do they see Jesus? Pray today for an increase in humility.
He must increase; we must decrease.
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.
Do I try to get people to focus more on me or on God?
What are my gifts?
How can I use my gifts to point others toward Jesus?
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.
"He must increase."
"I must decrease."
"Humble my heart."
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?
Take some time today to pray with the Litany of Humility.
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 Crystal Marchand.