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).
“What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.”
Living a Christian life can be a beautifully enriching endeavor. It can also sometimes feel as if we are perpetually trying to swim against the current, losing hope of our eventual arrival to our intended goal. Like many things, though, our perspective can drastically change our actions.
St. John the Baptist was known to be a wild man, always swimming against his own current. He still rose each day, fasting and baptizing in order that many would repent from their sinful lives. John persevered in humility. To do the work of God, we can sometimes begin to boast in our own goodness or, other times, the opposite: we can be crushed under the pressure of the salvation of the world.
John, though, had the right perspective; he knew that he was sent, not as the Savior whom deserved all honor and glory and praise, but instead that he came as a herald to the Living Gospel who was to come. John didn’t put the pressure on himself to have all the answers in his baptisms and sermons; he reminded the listeners often that he was not ‘He’ who was coming. Not only did John have the clarity to recognize the Christ who was to come, but he also had the humble confidence to continue to cry out in the desert that each heart may prepare to meet the Savior.
Do you ever feel like your own community is drifting far from the Lord? Do you put the weight of each person’s faith on your shoulders?
Jesus is the Son of God who became man to save the world; you don’t have to be. Turn your perspective to the truth that the Lord does, however, allow us to be His hands and feet. He allows us to cry out in the desert! Others see Jesus in your presence. Cry out to the world of His incredible love—but trust that He will do the heavy lifting. We need not despair when we are too weak, or too lost, for our Lord is strong and He is never far from 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.
What are the ways that the Lord is calling you today to be a voice crying out in the wilderness just as St. John the Baptist was?
When you are doing God's work, do you trust in His ability to do the work in you? Do you ask Him for strength and His will to be done? Why or why not?
In what ways do you still need to trust in God's goodness and plan for your life?
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.
"Behold the Lamb of God."
"You are my Savior."
"I trust in You."
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 a voice calling out for the Lord against the current in your life today. Maybe share your faith with a friend or family member. Maybe stand up for something you believe in to people around you. Maybe publicly live your faith in a way that others can see, not for your own glory but for God's. Pray and ask God that your witness would be effective and help those around you come to know Jesus.
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 Deacon Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.