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).
I am so thankful that Pope Francis made this the Year of Mercy! I have learned so much about God’s mercy in the last year and I know there is still a lot more to learn and try to comprehend.God's mercy is endless. Mercy can be shown in many different ways, but for me the easiest to outlet see and understand mercy is through forgiveness. This is kind of a paradox for me, though, because it also seems to be the hardest to do and truly take to heart.
In the first part of the Gospel, Jesus talks about this idea of forgiving someone when they repent and ask for forgiveness. The last paragraph gives me hope, because I would have reacted like the Apostles. When the Apostles hear this teaching on forgiveness, they knew it wouldn’t be easy and asked Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus responded saying, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). What Jesus means by this is we only need the tinniest bit of faith to do great things, and most likely we already have that. We need to realize the power our faith can have and believe it can make a difference.
Forgiving others and following God’s will can seem overwhelming, but I encourage you to look at the lives of the saints for motivation. Two that come to mind are St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Calcutta. These seem like two powerhouse saints, but if you look closely at their lives and what they did, everything they did was simple things you and I could do. As St. Teresa said, “do small things with great love.”
These small things could be helping pick up books or papers someone else dropped or not getting angry when someone bumps into you. If you notice someone who seems to be anxious and in a hurry, let them in front of you in line simply to acknowledge that you see they are struggling. You could write a note letting someone know you care about them and are thinking of them. These are just a few of the “small things” we could do that really impact someone else’s life.
And if we continue to trust God and so these small tasks, the “small tasks” might gradually get bigger, but our faith will have taken root and be so strong it will not phase us.
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.
When you hear the word mercy what do you think of? How do you understand or relate to God's mercy?
Where in your life do you need to experience God's mercy? What is holding you back?
How can you be more merciful to others? How can you be an example of God's love?
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.
"Do small things."
"Have great love."
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?
Be a living example of God's mercy today. It doesn't need to be anything big, help someone in your hallway. Think before you respond to someone in anger. Invite someone to sit with you at lunch. Try to do at least one small act of mercy.
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 Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Cape Girardeau, MO.