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).
If you live in a small town or drive on the highway past farmland, you probably know that this is harvest season. Farmers have long, hard days in the fields combining the corn or soy beans and then they make sure everything runs smoothly to store it or hall it off. Harvest season is a very busy time for farmers, but this is not the kind of harvest Jesus is talking about in the Gospels. He uses this analogy because it is something people (especially at that time) could relate to and understand.
The harvest Jesus is referring to is what we call evangelization. This can seem like a big scary word to some people, but it is fairly straightforward. To evangelize means to spread the Good News of Jesus; to spread the message of the Gospel; to spread the love of God. So understanding the word is not that difficult, but actually living it out is not always easy.
Today is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, one of the four writers of the Gospels. I look at all that he has done and think “there’s no way I could do something like that!” But as I read the Gospel reading for today I know God gives me all the graces and tools I need to be the evangelist He wants me to be. And here’s how:
The Gospel says Jesus sent seventy-two disciples ahead of him. These were not the twelve Apostles, but other people who had been following Jesus. They might have felt like they weren’t prepared to go out and talk about Jesus, but they were appointed and sent. Jesus also told them to bring nothing with them; no money, no sack, no sandals. But Jesus sent them in pairs so they would not be alone.
Jesus is calling each and every one of us to be evangelists. This can seem like a daunting task because as He says “the harvest is abundant but the labors are few.” God needs more labors to bring people in to His love. And I know the “harvest is abundant” because people are longing for something more, something to give their life meaning. They need people like us to show them the infinite love of the good, good Father.
You may, like me, feel like you are unqualified to be an “evangelist” or that you don’t have the right words to say. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Spread the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.” This doesn’t mean we never have to talk about God’s love and message of the Gospel, but it reassures us that our actions speak just as loud (or louder) than words.
We are all called to live out and spread the message of the Gospel and love God shows us. When this task seems overwhelming because the “harvest is abundant but the laborers are few,” we can take comfort that God will give us what we need and we are never alone.
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.
“The harvest is abundant but the labors are few.” How are you laboring in the field?
Does evangelization scare you? Why or why not? What makes it difficult?
What is your mission? Talk to Jesus about how He wants you to spread the Gospel.
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.
“The harvest is abundant."
"The labors are few.”
"Jesus, help me to evangelize."
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?
Today, go out of your comfort zone to evangelize. Ask Jesus to help you see that moment today and to have the courage to act on it.
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.