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).
What are you doing this weekend?
I recently read a book by a Protestant pastor named John Mark Comer called “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.” He describes a world where Christians are so frantically busy that our lives are filled with stress, irritability, and even emotional numbness, but not the peace that Jesus promises. To stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world, he proposes a solution: when we look at the life of Jesus, we see slowness, simplicity, and silence—especially on the sabbath, the Lord’s Day.
We can all fall into the trap of being too busy, too stressed and too distracted to take Sunday as a day of rest. In fact, in today’s Gospel, the Pharisees criticize the disciples for not resting on the sabbath: by picking the grains and eating them, they believed the disciples were “harvesting” the field, which would be defined as work. But Jesus responds that in the Old Testament, the temple priests did the “work” of preparing the temple for worship, but that wasn’t considered a violation of the command to rest because they were in the presence of God. How much more so are the disciples, who are walking leisurely through a field with Jesus, spending time with him, and eating grains of wheat with him, doing what God really wants on the Sabbath? What He desires is not legalistic rule-following, but mercy and closeness with the disciples.
In the same way, Jesus calls each one of us to set aside our Sunday for Him. Primarily, this means spending time with Jesus at Mass, but whether or not the pandemic is keeping you from Sunday Mass these days, Jesus invites you to a deeper sabbath rest. Maybe you could choose one of these habits of Jesus, applied to our modern life, and practice it this Sunday:
Slowing down: We see in the Gospels how Jesus would call his disciples to go off to a lonely place and rest a while. Maybe for us, sabbath rest means choosing not to participate in unnecessary activities, trips, or events on Sundays and instead spending quality time with family or friends.
Simplicity: Jesus taught that clinging to wealth and possessions doesn’t make us happy, but actually drowns out the voice of God in our souls. Simplicity frees our hearts from attachment to our stuff. This Sunday, you could choose not to buy anything, or even go through your belongings and donate items you don’t need.
Silence: Jesus spent time in the wilderness, away from the distractions of life, in order to draw close to the Father and be prepared for his mission. For us, silence might be as simple as putting down our devices for one day, and taking the time to rest, breathe, and simply be present with God.
So, what are you doing this weekend? How are you going to make Jesus the Lord of your sabbath?
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 will you do to slow down this weekend?
How will you embrace simplicity in your daily life?
Where will you spend time in silence?
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 want to slow down."
"Help me embrace the simplicity of your love."
"Be with me in the silence."
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?
Be intentional about how you can embrace silence, simplicity, and slowing down this weekend. Don't wait for it to 'just happen' but instead plan the time!
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 Becca O’Hara, who loves Jesus and lives with her husband Chris in Halifax, Canada, where they both work for the Church.
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.