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).
Today the Church celebrates the memorial of Timothy and Titus, two men whom Paul discipled and wrote to. Sometimes when I hear the readings at Mass or read them on my phone, I forget that the letters from Paul were just that: Paul writing letters to villages or individual people. Paul had a special relationship with Timothy and Titus in that Paul helped them grow in their faith and their relationship with Jesus. Paul did this with many people, but he focused in on a few to develop a close relationship with so he could walk closely with them and help them spread the Gospel message. In his writings, Paul is always very clear they are not disciples of Paul, but they are disciples of Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to look back, see how Paul evangelized, and almost be intimidated by all of the great things he did for the Church. I mean, he is one of great saints after all. But sanctity and sainthood was not just for the early Church, or even just reserved for priests and religious. Jesus calls each of us, in a unique way, to be a saint. Jesus calls each of us to grow in holiness and spread the Gospel.
We are each given the Light of Christ at baptism and as todays Gospel reading says, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed?” NO! We each have our own story and testimony to God’s love in our life. No two testimonies are the same because God created each one of us very uniquely. As Paul reassured Timothy, “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.”
At times I compare my testimony of how God has worked in my life to other people’s testimonies and I don’t think my story is that powerful or inspiring or special. But this is a lie! If I do not share how God has worked in my life (my testimony), then I am taking my light and hiding it under a bushel basket; I am listening to the lie that I have a spirit of cowardice in me rather than the power God has given me.
Timothy and Titus were ordinal men whom Paul invested in. In turn, they invested in other people and helped them encounter Jesus in a personal way and the Church continued to grow. Think about the people who have invested in you and helped you encounter Jesus. How are you going to do that for others? How can you embrace the spirit of power and love and self-control God has given you and let your light shine for others to see? Do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.
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.
"For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God."
What is my testimony? How has God impacted my life?
Do I share my testimony often? Why or why not?
What message am I called to share with others? How can I do that more often?
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.
"Stir into flame."
"My strength comes from the Lord."
"Lord, make me brave."
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?
What is your testimony? Pray about it, if you had one minute to tell someone why your faith matters to you, what would you say. Today, share your one minute testimony with at least one person.
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.