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).
Questions are a familiar part of our lives. We all answer questions all the time, every day. Some questions are insignificant, having no great impact on our days or our lives, like when my roommate just asked me how to use our new high-tech can opener. Other questions are more important, like when my little sister asks me whether or not I love her.
But the thing about questions is that it can be so easy to find our answers to them based solely on what the people around us say or based on what we think we need. My grandfather would answer a question about politics this way, so I will too. I’m trying to get on the good side of a friend so that I can ask a favor of them, so I answer a question they ask how I think they want me to.
The question Jesus asks His disciples in the Gospel today is one of the important questions, and the true answer that He sought was the answer that came from their hearts, not from the crowds that followed Him in awe of His miracles. Peter answers this question from his heart, not allowing his answer to be influenced by the thoughts of others or even what he thinks he should say.
This is a question that we all need to answer for ourselves: who do I say that Jesus is? Who is He to me? Why do I follow Him?
So often, the answers come from my head, not my heart. I know that He’s the Son of God because that’s what I’ve always been told to believe. I know that He’s my Savior because I’ve grown up hearing that. But do I know that He’s my savior because I have encountered Him as my Savior? Do I believe that He is God because of the powerful works He has done in my life?
And probably the most important question: do I follow Him because my love for Him is so strong that it’s willing to give up everything for the sake of being His disciple? Or do I follow Him for what I will gain out of it: a good marriage, the approval of my like-minded Christian peers, and an eternity spent in Heaven rather than that scary place down there.
The only way for us to know the answers to these questions in the depths of our heart is to seek to know our good Father: for as Jesus says to Peter, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.”
I pray that we are all able to follow in the footsteps of St. Peter: to encounter the power of the Father’s love and to look within to answer the questions that Jesus poses to us: who do we say that He is? Will we come and follow Him?
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.
Who do you say that Jesus is? What does that answer truly mean?
Are you willing to give up everything to follow Jesus because you love Him? Or are there other reasons why you're choosing Him? What are the true reasons?
How are you doing in your life of authentic discipleship? Are you taking up your cross to follow Him? How can you grow in that daily walk?
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 choose You."
"I give You everything."
"I love 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?
Take some time today to write down your answer to the question: "who do you say that I am?" and then place that answer in your Bible, on your mirror, or somewhere else you'll see it regularly to remind you that Jesus is truly Lord.
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 Catie Destatte, a St. Paul's Outreach Missionary at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.