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).
"No one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” -Luke 17:21
The Kingdom of God is among us, here and now. Jesus was not the messiah that the Jews predicted as they thought he would establish Israel as a great kingdom through politics and war. Well, Jesus did bring the about a new kingdom, but it is a spiritual one that we have all been baptized into. You are a member of this Kingdom. It is the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus reigns over from the right hand of the Father in Heaven. The Church is the seed of the Kingdom of God. It is alive and budding, but the fullness of the Kingdom will not be realized until Jesus comes again.
This Kingdom can be hard to see, but it is still here and will never pass away. Just like how Jesus is still here, even though He is hard to see. It can be hard to follow Him when you cannot see His face or encounter Him like you would anyone else. It kind of stinks that we have to go on faith, even though we know we have faith in the right person. However, it can be hard to keep faith when the people around you do not. We are told from all angles to live according to what makes us feel good. TV shows, movies, music, commercials, even friends send the message that you should follow your own desires or emotions. Even if it hurts the people around you, even if it hurts yourself, your relationships, even your relationship with God, do what ever feels good.
God does not want us to follow those influences. Jesus always wants us to follow Him who is the way into the Kingdom of Heaven. He is the way to the Father, He is the way to joy, peace, love for all eternity, and the Kingdom on earth helps us get there through the sacraments. So do not follow the voices that lead you into sin and selfishness. Follow Jesus and those who will lead you deeper into a relationship with Him through the Church, the Kingdom He established for 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.
How does seeing yourself as a member of the Kingdom of God change the way you see your relationship with Jesus, who is the head of the Kingdom?
What voices do you follow? Are they ones that lead you deeper into the Kingdom and closer to Christ?
How can you grow closer to Jesus through His Church today?
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 follow you."
"I want more of you."
"Help me live for 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?
Today, let your actions reflect the Kingdom of God. Live as a true follower of Christ, not as a follower of other people or even of your own wants. Live like Jesus and love like He does through your words and actions.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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