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).
It can be very frustrating when trying to communicate something to someone who clearly doesn’t understand you or what you are talking about. I am sure we have all been in a situation like this. Maybe you and the other person come from different family backgrounds, maybe you live in different parts of the country, maybe, just maybe, you have differing political views. Whatever the case may be, when the going gets tough in these conversations, it can be easy for our emotions to get involved, and for this to lead us to take things personally.
Jesus today presents us with alternative way to respond in that situation.
In today’s Gospel, we find Jesus in his hometown preaching at the Synagogue for the first time. Rather than being greeted with love and acceptance, Jesus is greeted with confusion and anger. The people, whom he was attempting to minister to and impart wisdom upon, were not listening; even more, they took offense at him. They clearly were not in a place to receive the message He had for them.
We do not see Jesus get angry, though; the story doesn’t go on to tell us how Jesus forced His message upon the people. He very simply spoke to & healed those who would listen, and then moved on, “amazed at their lack of faith."
There is a time and place to debate. There is a time and place for constructive conversation with those who disagree with us. In order to know the proper time, we must always be asking the Holy Spirit to guide us and walk with us. The Holy Spirit, if we ask, can give us the ability to know when to peacefully engage in dialogue, and when to respectfully move on, knowing that the opposing party is in no place to understand our point of view.
In today’s world, turning away, or backing down is seen as a sign of weakness. The Gospel shows us that it is not weakness, but a sign of great wisdom. May we continue to encounter this great wisdom of God, and allow it to permeate our entire being, guiding our decisions and inspiring our conversations.
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.
How often do I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in my daily conversations? How can I do a better job of letting Him lead me?
What ways is God trying to speak to you today? Are you letting Him, or have you put up barriers to anything He might be asking of you?
Are you a person who genuinely listens to those you are talking to, or do you always end up trying to win conversations? How can you do a better job of letting God use you when speaking to others by listening to them and genuinely hearing them?
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.
"Speak Lord, I'm listening."
"Help me be humble."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
Reach out to someone you disagree with on something and get together with them to catch up. Don't try to convince them, just practice listening to them, learning where they are coming from, knowing when it is right to explain what you believe and when you should be silent. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in your conversation.
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 Connor Flanagan, a Youth Minister and Catholic Musician who lives in St. Paul, MN.