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).
Sheep among wolves, hated by many, families falling apart; it doesn't seem like God set us up to do really well from today's Gospel. In fact, it seems like we are set up to fail; like we are all in one big failarmy Snapchat story. And if we measure failure or success by what we do, that's true, we will fail. But that is not how God judges us.
God asks us to simply stay faithful. We don't have a number of people we must evangelize or a perfect family we must create, or any worldy marker to get to heaven. We must simply choose Him, even when we fail. It is not our success that earns us salvation, Christ already won that for us. Rather, we must simply accept His love and respond with love, even in our brokenness.
We do not need to be perfect like the world expects, but rather as Our Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). In other words, we aren’t judged by our worldly successes but by the love we receive and share. People will hate you for no reason, even ones you love most. People will fail you because they are not flawless; no one is. But if we let God’s love change us and animate us, we will be good and we will get to heaven. Let us stop judging ourselves as the world would, but instead, whether we fail miserably or succeed triumphantly, let us choose love in the moment. It’s okay to fail, it’s okay to be imperfect. God wants all of you, even the biggest messes.
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 you feel defeated before you've even begun in your journey to follow Christ?
Have you let failure and defeat become the dominate thought when you think about the Christian life? Considering only all the things you'll need to sacrifice?
Are you willing to sacrifice the goods of the world for eternal life with Christ?
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.
"I desire you above all else Lord."
"I give up everything for you."
"I love you before all else."
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?
Choose something to sacrifice or fast from today that takes your attention before God. Maybe Snapchat or TV or your phone. Choose something that grabs your attention before the Lord and fast from that thing today.
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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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