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).
Friendship is one of the most beautiful things we have in this world. Friendship brings us joy, security, and accountability; all of which are necessary for us to live and grow as humans. There are many people in our lives who we may consider friends, but there is another level of friendship that we share with a much small circle of people. These people truly help define who we are; for better or for worse.
Take a minute and think about your closest friends. Why are they your friends? What are some of the ways they positively influence you and maybe even negatively influence you? What about your best best friends, the 2 or 3 you are absolutely closest to? Why are you so close?
In today’s first reading, Jonathan literally risked his own life by standing up to his father for his friend, David. Jonathan was the son of the king with everything to lose, but his friendship with David was more important. Jesus says, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
There is joy on both sides of this kind of friendship. To be loved by a friend so much is an honor and a gift that can’t even be put into words. I am so thankful for the people in my life that I know love me this much. I am literally brought to tears thinking of the gift of their love and friendship. The ability to care about and love someone enough to lay down your life for them is the way our hearts were designed to love our friends. The ability to love a friend like this is just as life giving as receiving that love. Be a true friend today. Love your friends with your whole heart, risking everything, and let them love you in return.
St. Thomas Aquinas has some really good thoughts on friendship and I encourage you to read some of his work, especially the parts about friendship. He talks about the purpose of friendship is to bring the other to heaven and how much joy we can get from these authentic relationships. But I want to leave you with one last quote as we reflect on our true friendships and the gift those people are today:
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” - St. Thomas Aquinas
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.
Who are your closest friends? Why are you so close? What are some of the ways they positively or negatively influence you? How do you influence your friends?
How do you treat your friends? How do they treat you? Do you love each other with a Christ-like love? Are you willing to lay down your life for your friends'?
Do you see your friends as a gift from God? Are you a gift to them? How can you grow to love them better and more purely through Christ and accept their love in return?
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.
"Help me to love better."
"You are my best friend."
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 a true friend today. Love your friends with your whole heart, risking everything, and let them love you in return.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, Youth Minister at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, IL. 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.