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).
"Savior" seems to be one of the most common titles we think of when we think of Jesus. Who is Jesus? The Savior! Jesus came and died for us to save us from our sins.
That's like, 2nd grade religious ed stuff, right?
I think sometimes this concept, though, fails to pack the full punch that it should because of one major reason; the reality for many of us, I think, is: do we really think of ourselves as needing to be saved? There is a heresy, meaning a false teaching, known as Pelagianism. Pelgianism is this idea that Jesus simply presented a perfect model or example for us, and that we have to try really hard to imitate this model in order to earn Heaven and salvation. If this feast of the Holy Cross can teach us anything, it is the reality of the ugliness of sin. If the consequence of sin is the event of Jesus' death on the Cross, the actual death of God, this should prove to us that sin is something that cannot be conquered just by us trying a little harder.
The Christian life can't just be about trying really hard. We could try as hard as we want and never earn back God's love and favor just through our own efforts. We need to be saved. Does Jesus provide us an example of what it really means to love unselfishly in giving up His life for His friends? Absolutely. But the reality is, in our sin, we are desperately in need of being saved, utterly incapable of saving ourselves without the help of God's grace won for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I think this should radically change the way we think about sin. Sometimes, because we know how much God hates sin, we think that sin is something we have to deal with on our own so that God loves us. Once we realize that we are in need of being saved, it changes our relationship with God from Someone-Up-There-In-The-Sky-Who's-Mad-At-Me to a loving Father who sees us lost, broken, and confused because of our own mistakes, and just wants to pick us up and make us new again.
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 do you think of when you hear the term Savior? How would you define what it means that Jesus is Savior?
Do you think of yourself as needing to be saved? Do you let yourself realize and come to terms with the fact that you have sin in your life from which you need a Savior?
How would your life look different if you started to see God as the loving Father who comes to you in your brokenness?
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 my Savior."
"I need You."
"I love Your Cross."
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?
On this feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, give yourself some time to focus on the cross on which our Savior hung. Maybe just take a few minutes to pray before a crucifix. Maybe pray the stations of the cross. Maybe read something written by a Pope or Saint on the cross. Whatever it is, focus on the Savior and His Cross.
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 Tim Glemkowski, Youth & Young Adult Minister at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia, IL.