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).
Today's Gospel is one of those where, on the surface, it might be difficult to see and understand exactly what Jesus is saying. There's some stuff about spirits...and houses...and division...and Satan...and the Holy Spirit...and an unforgivable sin. What does it all mean?
In order to understand this whole reading, we should look at what Jesus specifically says about "blaspheming against the Holy Spirit." This seems to be the crux of what is happening, because Jesus talks about this blasphemy as a moment that we can never be forgiven of. Why would He say that?! Isn't it true that God will forgive us of everything we've done??
Yes. Yes He will. There is no sin we could commit, nothing we could say or do or think, nothing the worst person on earth could ever think of doing that would stop God from forgiving us if we ask. So why does Jesus say that there is an unforgivable sin? Because this sin He talks about is precisely the sin of not trusting in the Spirit, the One who the Father has given to us in order to help us to come back to Him and ask for that forgiveness.
Why does Jesus get so upset in this reading when the scribes say that He is possessed by the devil? Because He knows the Spirit who is inside of Him, which is not the Spirit of Beelzebub but the very Spirit of God. This same Spirit, the One who was with Jesus as He walked and taught and died and rose from the dead, this is the Spirit that was promised to you and to me. In this Spirit, you and I have life, and have it fully. In this Spirit, we have the grace to turn back to the Father even in our weakest moments and ask for His forgiveness, and as long as we make that turn, trusting in the Holy Spirit and letting Him live in us, the Father will forgive everything that we ask of Him.
Today is the national day of prayer for legal protection of unborn children, as Fr. John talked about in yesterday's reflection. Why must we support, protect, and fight for all life, from conception to natural death, and in a special way those who cannot fight for themselves? Because life is given as a gift, in which we are all able to receive the Holy Spirit and live in eternal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Father. Each and every life is meant to be lived, protected, and then offered to God for His glory and His honor. Each and every life is a precious gift meant to bring God's love and grace into the world and to ultimately bring glory to the One who makes and sustains all things.
May you and I today take up the grace of our baptism, living in and through the Spirit, turning back to God in our sin, praying for the legal protection of all unborn children, and praying for each and every life that all men and women would be cared for, loved, protected, and may know the love and mercy that God offers so generously to each one of 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.
In what ways are you in need of the grace of the Holy Spirit to help you turn back to God? In your prayer today, make a good examination of conscience and a resolve to go to confession soon.
How can you be an instrument of God's mercy to those you encounter today? How can you let God's mercy truly penetrate and influence your own life?
Where is God calling you to bring the message of the gift of all human life today? How can you witness to and share about the love of God for each and every person, whether that is in your belief in the sanctity of unborn life or the way you treat those you encounter at school?
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.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"I live in You, Lord."
"You give life."
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?
At least 5 times today, pause for a moment to pray "come, Holy Spirit" and invite the Spirit into your day and what is happening in that situation.
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 Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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