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).
As we begin this reflection, can I take a moment to just be completely real with you guys?
I’ll take your silence and lack of response and an ardent affirmation. So here it goes.
I write this reflection for you all today during that time period between Christmas and New Year’s where none of us are too aware of what’s going on around us. To be honest, I’m not really sure what day it is or when the last time I ate any kind of meal that didn’t involve cheese was. As I sit here, in the midst of the chaos and reflect on this Gospel passage, I am struck by the reality that I have nothing new to offer you; nothing to say that you haven’t inevitably heard before; nothing unique or exciting.
But before you stop reading/praying because you’re starting to think that it’s clear that I have no idea what I’m doing/writing about, let me just present to you the truth that Christ reminded me of as I was reading this Scripture passage from Mark:
Simple truths speak volumes.
I may have nothing revolutionary to share with you today, but what I do have is the opportunity to remind us of the call that Christ offers to each of us. I think that for many of us, the Gospel reading from today includes a lot of biblical themes that we’ve become far too familiar with: God’s mercy, his love for sinners, his desire to redeem us through his love, just to name a few. But what caught my attention, perhaps for the first time, when praying with these verses from Scripture, wasn’t how Christ related to his people (not to undermine the beauty in meditating on that in any way) but was how the tax collector Levi (who would become the Apostle Matthew) related to Christ.
What I mean is that Christ called Levi to follow him. Like literally, that’s all Christ says to him: “Follow me.” And what does Levi do, this sinful tax collector who is looked at with disdain by all of the “God-fearing” people around him? He doesn’t ask questions, doesn’t argue, he just does it. Mark tells us that he simply “go up and followed Jesus.” And look, that may not sound exciting, but the reality that I was faced with as I read this was that I am so so very good at telling the Lord that I am going to follow Him, what I’m not so good at, is actually doing it.
So yeah, I know the idea of following the Lord not just what we say, but in what we do isn’t new. But I think that until I start actually doing it, I’ll always be grateful for the reminder of this simple truth which has truly spoken volumes in my chaotic life. So let’s ask the Lord today, to give us the graces we need to say yes to Him, especially in the way we act.
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 follow Jesus in everyday life? Do you seek to live out a life of love and forgiveness through a relationship with Christ? Is following Jesus the priority of your day?
How will you respond to Christ's call to follow Him today? Will you be like Matthew and get up and go?
What new and simple truth have you learned from this passage? How will it help you grow in your relationship with God?
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 will follow You."
"I am Yours."
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?
Answer Christ's call to follow Him. Live out the simple truth that Christ is always reaching out to you. Be intentional with your actions throughout the day and really live your faith in all that you do. Be a bold witness to Christ and His love through the way you follow Him.
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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL. If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.