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).
Next time you are driving through upstate New York, I would encourage you to take a stop in Auriesville to visit the Shrine of the North American Martyrs, whose Feast day we celebrate today. Over the past several years I have been blessed to go there a few times, and every time it brings me a profound sense of awe, peace, and mission. It is a beautiful place of prayer where the bodily remains of three of these martyrs bless the holy grounds. Ok, in reality it is likely most of us won’t be going there any time soon, but I’d like to reflect on one key insight we can learn from these martyrs without actually stepping foot on the grounds.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.” Parents are entrusted with the well-being of their children; teachers are responsible for properly educating their students; bishops, priests, and deacons have a special responsibility to communicate the teachings of Jesus and his Church; sports coaches are entrusted with training athletes and producing champions. Well, how about all of us Catholics in general? Are we responsible with anything? Of course, none of us gets off the hook, because as Jesus’ disciples we have all been “entrusted with the message of salvation.”
I remember hearing a Hollywood atheist once ask us Christians, “If you truly believe and profess that God became man, die for our sins, and then was resurrected on the third day, and he desires to have a relationship with us, why wouldn’t you tell everyone this great news!?” He was angered on why Christians keep silent a message that is so important to everyone.
The North American martyrs give us something to think about. They were missionaries who came from France and went through the most brutal conditions and tortures to bring the message of Jesus to the Native Americans who did not know him. When the Lord tells us that much will be required of the person entrusted with much, think about one phrase, “self-donation.” One of the martyrs, John de Brebeuf said that the only reason he endured the terrible conditions, rejection, and the likelihood of torture and death was because “Jesus had been so gracious as to die for me.” Jesus died for each of us and many out there who do not know him...am I donating my life for the love of Christ and his people?
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.
You have been entrusted with the message of salvation. What do you do to share it?
Are you donating your life for the love of Christ and his people?
What does it mean to give of yourself?
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.
"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much."
"Jesus Christ died for me."
"North American martyrs, pray for us."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Share the Good News of salvation with at least one new person today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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