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).
Strength Finders by Tom Rath provides some amazing insights to the strengths one has and how to apply them to excel in all aspects of living. In the book, you get a code to an online quiz and the answers you give determine your top 5 strengths. WOO, which stands for Win Others Over, is one of the strengths that is not in my top 5 but one I’ve always been jealous of when I hear from others that their results put WOO in their top 5.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus showcases WOO. His presence is magnetic. There is a buzz about him all around town. Jesus is trending.
Jesus shows us that this charisma he has is powerful and meant to be at the service of others. His very presence "brings glad tidings to the poor" and "liberty to the captives." He is the fulfillment of the prophet’s words in his presence, not just by his actions. It’s powerful, it’s profound, and a bit confusing. I didn’t see any glad tidings occur, nor did I see a number of captives set free merely by Jesus’ presence.
As a father, I begin to understand the power of presence. In my efforts to raise saints, teaching my children about the faith and praying with them is important. However, knowledge of sainthood can only take you so far. Encountering a saint, playing catch in the yard with a saint - these things will help my children grow to become saints themselves. My living witness is the model. This model goes beyond my words, my degrees, or my job titles. My children know who I am.
Jesus shows us just what is possible when we live life fully alive. When you live out your full potential as a beloved child of God, it is your presence that leads to an encounter of the living God - not because you know the prayers, or went through Confirmation, but because you are in relationship with God and the Holy Spirit animates your existence.
During Advent we reflected on the journey of Jesus’ mother Mary. Her presence was all it took for John the Baptist to stir in Elizabeth’s womb. When people saw Mary during this time, they knew something was different about her. She was little swelling with the Lord.
Take some time today to reflect on your own journey. When people encounter you, what do you swell with? What does your presence accomplish when you walk into a room or encounter a co-worker, friend, or family member? It’s important because in today’s Gospel, Jesus wasn’t showing off, he was showing us a model on how we are called to live. My hope is that people with confuse you with the goodness you seek to bring. My hope is that people will mistake you for Jesus 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 am I a living witness?
What goodness do I seek to bring others?
How can I win others over for Christ?
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.
"Bring glad tidings."
"Proclaim Jesus Christ."
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?
Consider how you can be a living witness for Christ - both in word and deed.
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 Chris Bartlett.