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).
It's early in summer, and so it is the season of graduation parties, picnics, and bonfires. We grill some burgers, play some corn hole (bags, if you prefer that name), and sit around the fire. We reminisce. We tell stories. And, after a summer of graduation parties and vacations, we'll all resume life or begin a new chapter in our journeys.
The second reading today is St. Paul's ending to the the second letter to the Corinthians, and as is typical of St. Paul he spends time encouraging them, leaving final advice, and then offering his blessing to them. The end of his letter is not so different than our summertime of saying goodbyes and making memories.
His advice is simple and yes incredibly difficult: he tells them to stop sinning, start loving each other, and to be kind and welcoming. Easy, right? Mend your ways. Live in love and harmony. Greet your brothers and sisters in Christ with love. All of those things are said fully and directly. No qualifications, no "unless they haven't had their coffee" or "they killed your Snapchat streak and you're super upset with them."
How are we going to do that? Through the grace of Jesus, the love of the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Paul's blessing at the end of this letter is not an accident, and it is not just habit. Today in the Church we celebrate the Holy Trinity. Our God is a Trinitarian God, meaning He is three Persons and one God. Our God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; none of these is ahead of the others, or in any way higher than the others. They are all God, fully God, living in an eternal relationship of love with one another, a relationship that we have been invited into.
And so Paul leaves us with a Trinitarian blessing, and this is simply the blessing for each one of our lives. If we come to know Jesus, have union with Him and His grace, He unites us to the Father, the one who loves and chooses each one of us, and then we have the fullness of life in and through the Holy Spirit.
That blessing wasn't just for the people at Corinth; it's for you and I today. Where do you need the grace of the Spirit? The love of the Father? The fellowship of the Holy Spirit? He's actively moving in your life and mine, we simply must call on Him. Encounter Him. And live in His love.
"Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you."
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 are some of the great things that happened over the past year? What are some of the bad things? Where did you see God in both?
If we come to know Jesus, have union with Him and His grace, He unites us to the Father, the one who loves and chooses each one of us, and then we have the fullness of life in and through the Holy Spirit. Sit with the mystery of the Trinity for a bit in prayer and dive deeper into having the Trinity in your life.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Who do you feel close to? Who do you need to deepen your relationship with? Ask for their grace to enter into your life 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.
"The God of love and peace will be with you."
"Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
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 remove the word "but" from your vocabulary. Anytime you want to say "but she" or "but it's unfair" or whatever it might be use that moment as a chance to ask for God's blessing on the situation and to turn it over to Him.
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.