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).
More than anything in this life, I want to be loved. I want to be loved by my family and friends, and I want to be loved, above all, by God. For this reason, I think there has always been a part of me that has been a “people-pleaser,” and therefore, when I find out that someone isn’t pleased with me for any reason, there is a part of my heart that breaks. There’s a part of me that finds the thought of someone not liking me unbearable. Now I don’t think anyone particularly enjoys being hated or disliked, yet Jesus reminds us that it’s okay sometimes. Sometimes, being hated means we are actually doing something right.
If Jesus, the Son of God, was persecuted to the point of being crucified, what exempts us from undergoing similar persecutions? Now I certainly hope that none of us are actually crucified; however, we also know that Jesus tells us that in order to be His disciple, we must pick up our cross daily. The cross is not light, but the Lord has chosen us out of the world to have the privilege of carrying it alongside Him.
May we pray for those who hate us and persecute us because they are in need of love and conversion too. St. Paul, who we read about in today’s first reading, persecuted and killed hundreds of Christians before his conversion, and then by the Lord’s grace and mercy, he converted and brought many more people into the Church. Once we come to know Christ, everything changes. We can no longer hate; we can only love.
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 are some ways you deal with persecution for your faith right now? How can you work to face it with more love?
What fears are holding you back from giving your heart and life more to Jesus?
How can you encourage those being persecuted for their faith?
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.
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Jesus, I love You."
"Give me Your strength, Lord."
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?
Be bold. Live your faith. Love people. People may push you away and some may even hate you, but meet everyone with love and most of all, live in God's love.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.