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).
“Upon this rock I shall build my Church.”
Happy feast of the chair of St. Peter! That’s right, in weird Catholic fashion, today we are celebrating a chair. The chair of St. Peter does exist to this day and it can be found at the Vatican in St. Peter’s basilica.
The chair is old and can be traced back to the very early Church. It was traditional for a newly elected pope to sit there and speak from it. Much like a cathedral itself, it is recognized as a place for preaching and leading others to Jesus.
Pope Benedict XVI said, “Celebrating the "Chair" of Peter, therefore, as we are doing today, means attributing a strong spiritual significance to it and recognizing it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the eternal Good Shepherd, who wanted to gather his whole Church and lead her on the path of salvation” [General Audience, Feb. 22, 2006].
So when we say we are celebrating a chair, what we are really celebrating is God’s love for us. His love and his sacrifice is what turned Peter from a scared young man who often put his foot in his mouth (for real shortly after Jesus tells Peter he is the rock, Jesus also tells Peter “get behind me Satan), into the leader of the Church.
In our first reading, St. Peter writes about leading the Church. He says that all who have encountered Christ and know of His sacrifice must go out and tend to the Church. While Peter may be the rock, but we all have a responsibility to share the faith, to lead with compassion and take care of those around us. We are all called to be a leader in our faith. He tells us not only what we must do, but how we should do it.
The feast of the Chair of St. Peter isn’t about a chair really. It is about all of us stepping up to be leaders and witnesses of faith. How will you do that today?
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 has God's love changed you? How has your personal growth in faith been like St. Peter's?
Are you helping the Church grow? Are you sharing the faith? How can you grow in your witness of Christ?
Who is a leader in faith that you look up to? How can you grow to be more like them and St. Peter 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.
"You made me good."
"Help me tend to Your Church."
"I trust in 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?
Be more like St. Peter today. We are all called to serve the Church and share the love of Christ with others, just like St. Peter did. So pray for his intercession for all the graces you need to be the leader in the Faith that you are called to be.
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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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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