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).
One thing I think we've all probably noticed more and more in our lives is that people are really anxious. Probably most of us reading this right now deal with anxiety, in fact. Coming from that place, whether we ourselves struggle with anxiety or we know people who do, today's words from Jesus might sound incredibly difficult. When Jesus says not to worry about food, drink, or what will happen tomorrow, we might be tempted even to laugh at Him.
"Jesus, I know you're smart and God and all, but come on! You want me not to worry about that stuff coming up? Do you even know me?" We might say.
I think these words of Jesus were specifically spoken not because Jesus didn't understand us, but because He does. When Jesus tells us not to worry but instead to trust and move towards Him, I don't think He is thinking "guys, it's simple!", but rather "friends, you really need this."
We have a God who knows what is coming in your life and mine, who has looked at each of us with love and said that we are good, and who will never abandon us and what is best for us. We have a God who has seen what is coming tomorrow and is already there waiting for us in that place. If that place is good, He's there. If tomorrow is just like today, He's there. If tomorrow brings unprecedented suffering, He is there. The truth of the matter is that we serve a God who is in the midst of every moment ready to bring about our good if we encounter Him there; are we giving Him that room to meet us there?
When Jesus says to see first the Kingdom He is not asking us to neglect our lives or ignore our problems; He is asking us to see that He is first in the midst of all of that, and realize that in those things He has our good in mind. The question is: will I truly trust Him enough to put Him ahead of my worry, my fear, and my excitement, letting Him truly be Lord of my life?
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 the things currently happening or soon coming in your life that you are excited about, worried about, or anxious about? Where is God calling you in those things?
When you face new or unexpected things in life, how do you invite God into those things? In what way can you grow in letting Him be Lord even of those things?
What holds you back from truly trusting that God has what is best for you?
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.
"Jesus I trust in You."
"Keep my eyes on You."
"I give You my life."
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?
Today, whenever you are tempted to become anxious about something, pause and say a Hail Mary or pray "Come, Holy Spirit" and invite God into that moment to reveal the truth of His presence and His love.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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