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).
If Jesus texted you today’s Gospel, your response – perhaps like mine – would’ve been to text back a gif with a blank stare face! Our modern reaction is not unlike the reaction that his 1st century audience would’ve given him. Yet as St. Paul reminds us that all “Scripture is inspired and is useful for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Therefore, what might the good Word be teaching us today through this short and quizzical story?
Jesus, while preaching, is interrupted by a passionate and vocally agreeing member of the crowd when she affirms his preaching gifts through a popular Jewish expression which praises someone through the praising of their mother. In other words, Jesus’ preaching has moved her so much that she couldn’t help but cry out in praise of his family and the house that built him. Jesus response is to agree with the women, but to also redirect her praise toward something more than his family of origin; he points out that true blessedness is grounded not in blood or family but in discipleship.
Jesus receives the praise, but after that he redirects it to something beyond his family and himself. Jesus reminds her that his talents are grounded most deeply in his heavenly home, and that praise for any good that he is doing ought to be directed to God. His talents are not just from his family but are also on loan from God.
So, the question today’s Gospel invites us to pray about how we receive compliments and praise, especially in service of God. Jesus shows us how to avoid both false humility as well as not focusing on ourselves either. Often Christians will deny they are good at something because they think humility means rejecting praise and recognition. However, true humility is an acknowledgement of reality as it is. It’s ok to recognize when you have a gift and to receive praise; but it is also good to give thanks for this gift that you have as well. To pretend you do not have a talent does a disservice to God who gave you it, but to take all the credit is to cut God out of the picture. Jesus, in today’s reading, offers us a way to a humility that is proud of our talents but grounds them in a gratitude to God.
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 gifts that God has given you, which are clear in your life right now, that you want to thank him for today?
In your life, how can you point your talents and gifts more directly to God and not to yourself, giving him glory through your life?
How do you handle compliments? What can you learn about your relationship with God through the way compliments from others make you feel?
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.
"Blessed are you, Lord."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Teach me true humility."
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?
Compliment someone today on the gifts that God has given them! In doing that, focus on how those gifts in their life – and the gifts you have in your life – give glory to God.
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 Jon Polce, SJ.
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.