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).
Reading the Gospel passage today, I have to admit that I struggle a little bit. Not with the particular teaching on marriage, but with the reality that Jesus is asking much of us. It’s easy for me to look at the Pharisees and think that they might have a point in balking at the fact that Jesus is asking more of them than what the law does. Isn’t that the reality in our own world? The things that the Church teaches when it comes to marriage and family and the moral life are a lot more than what the laws of our world ask of us.
There’s a part of me that resents Jesus for asking so much of me. “Jesus, don’t you understand that this is hard? Jesus, sometimes I feel like you ask too much.” Right now in my life it’s easy for me to fall into that pattern. “Jesus, you’ve called me to lead a team of missionaries on a college campus, but it’s just too hard. There’s too much to do, too many people to care for. It’s too much, Jesus. You ask too much.” But that resentful part of me is missing the bigger picture. That part of me looks at all of the things Jesus asks me to do from a human standpoint. And with only my limited human strength, those things actually are too hard and too much for me to do and bear. Just Catie can’t lead a team of missionaries. Just Catie can’t love all of the students on her campus. Just Catie can’t accomplish all of the items on her to-do list.
But when I look at the reality of grace operating in my life, suddenly those things don’t seem so impossible after all. When I think about the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to empower and strengthen me, I realize that actually, I have all that I need to do the things He asks of me and to do them well. Just Catie can’t do those things, but the Holy Spirit working in Catie can. Yes, Jesus asks a lot of me, but He also gives me the promise that He will be with me and that He will give me the strength to bear those things. As St. Paul would say, "His power is made perfect in my weakness." Those words take a lot of the pressure off my shoulders.
What are the things in your life right now that seem too hard and too much for you? Is it a teaching of the Church that is hard for you to accept? Is it a relationship that’s draining the life from you? Is it your schoolwork or a sport or prayer? Bring those things before Jesus and ask Him to help you with those things.
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.
What do you need God's grace to help you do today?
What are some of your weaknesses that you can only overcome with His help?
Do you believe that His grace can really give you the strength to do what He is asking of you? How can you learn to truly believe that a little more?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in You."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Give me Your strength 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?
Stop trying to do everything on your own, and stop running away from things that seem too challenging. Face the challenges in your life, but face them with the grace and strength of God.
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 Saint Paul's Outreach Missionary at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.
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.