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).
St. Paul's letter to the Thessalonians that we hear today is a powerful reading on many different levels. We hear so clearly Paul's love for the people. Paul shares the witness of how he lived among them – working night and day in order to provide for himself, and then giving all that he had to share the Gospel with him. In the words, you can hear a clear and real urgency from Paul of how important it is that the Word of God be shared with others and be taken hold of by them.
What struck me in praying through this reading today was the very end, where Paul gives thanks to God "unceasingly" because of the people who received the Word of God as it truly is and are now letting that Word work in them.
To me, there are two levels to the power of this statement:
1. The Word of God is alive, and real, and longs to be received by us in an active way where it impacts and changes the way that we live our lives. The question for us is: have we allowed God to work in this way? Have we received the Word of God in its fullness, passed down in Scripture taught to us in and through the Church, in a way that is active. What this means is that we don't simply sit back, hearing God's word every once in a while and going about our day. Rather, we take God's Word up actively in our prayers and seek his will, living each day and each moment for his glory!
2. Once that word has become active, as it did for St. Paul, we then need to have the desire to share it so fervently that we can have the immense and clear gratitude of Paul when it is received. Sometimes, even when we believe in God and say we live our lives for him, we don't share his love in a way that shows that we are CONVINCED that he is real, that he is good, and that his love for each and every single person that has ever lived is worthy of his love and that God desires them to be with him for all of eternity.
It's the feast of St. Augustine. So happy feast day. Let's celebrate him today by living as he lives. How is that? Augustine, early in his life, was far from God. While he was living in sin, though, he actively sought the truth. And what happened when he found it? Everything changed. Augustine became a great saint not because it was easy or natural to him, but because God's Word changed his life and he knew that it needed to be shared.
May you and I today take up the example of Augustine and Paul, encountering the Word of God in a way that changes our lives and compels us to go forth and share it.
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 the Word of God impacted my life?
How will I take up God's Word more actively in my prayer life and routine?
How am I sharing the Word of God?
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 Word of God is alive."
"Take up the Word of God."
"Encounter the Word of God."
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?
Make a plan to incorporate the Word of God in your prayer life more, whether it is choosing a particular book of the Bible to read, or starting at the beginning, or joining a Bible study.
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, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.