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).
The Gospel today has a bit of a shock and awe factor to it.
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
There is a part of us that probably recoils when we hear that. What could Jesus mean by asking us to hate our father and our mother? He didn't REALLY want us to hate our wife and kids? Sometimes I probably say I hate my siblings, but he can't possibly want me to, right?
Jesus is making it very clear in today's Gospel that following him is costly. In following Jesus, you and I need to be ready for the reality that we might end up alienated from even people who mean the world to us. In following Jesus, we might lose friendships, we might end up isolated or alone, and we might see things that we thought meant the world to us disappear.
Are you and I ready for that?
The path of following Jesus is rewarding, it truly is, but gosh can it be difficult. In John 16:33, Jesus tells his disciples what this will be like: you will have trouble in this world, he says. Our courage, our hope, our joy, comes in the fact that he has defeated the world, he has overcome, and we get to experience that victory here and now and in eternity to come. That doesn't mean, though, that we're without trouble, because you and I are still facing the challenges of this life.
Discipleship is hard. Sometimes when we're taught the faith and first encounter Jesus we miss that part, often because it's glossed over. Somebody probably wanted us to believe in God, so they talked about the good stuff, ignoring the reality that it's hard. And that's okay, but I think you're ready for it now: discipleship is hard. For many of you, this reality is all too well known; for others, it is something that the Lord will teach you in due time.
For all of us, though, the truth is the same: discipleship is hard. Being a Christian is hard. We must be like the wise one in the Gospel today, the ones who count the cost before setting out, and in doing so realize we're going to give up everything to follow Jesus.
In return, though, we'll get everything that we could've ever wanted and more. It's worth it, but it's costly. Let's choose to pay the price, to submit ourselves to him, and let him make good on his promise of the easy yoke and the light burden.
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.
Am I truly ready to follow Jesus?
What has the cost of discipleship been in my life?
How has being a disciple of Jesus brought joy to my 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.
"I will pick up my cross today."
"I will follow you, Lord."
"I give everything to you, Lord."
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?
Consider the cost of discipleship in your own life, and if you are ready, recommit yourself to following the Lord this day.
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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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.
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