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).
There have been many times when I’ve been reading the Bible, or listening to the readings at Mass when I’ve found myself wondering why at times the Disciples seemed so dreadfully incapable of understanding the points Jesus was making. It sometimes seems like they had skulls thicker than a brick wall. How could they not grasp the meaning of what Jesus was doing? Today’s passage from Mark’s Gospel is one of those times. Even though they’d personally witnessed two of Jesus’ food-centric miracles, in which He fed literally thousands of people from only a handful of loaves of bread (and ended up with leftovers!), they were grumbling amongst themselves that they had forgotten to pack appropriately, and only had a single loaf of bread to eat between them. They forgot the bigger picture of what they were doing with Jesus, and their worlds collapsed down the narrowest concern over whether or not they’d be able to fill their own stomachs. How many times in the three years of His mission did Jesus just have to stop and do a facepalm, I wonder? This certainly feels like one probable occasion.
But, perhaps I am not being fair to the Disciples. I have the benefit of hindsight because I have been able to read, and reflect, and learn over the course of many years what they were personally living through … in real time. Still, we can try to keep in mind that any time any of us frets over a worldly concern, we are essentially acting the same as the Disciples did in that boat. Jesus has promised us that faith in Him, and a mind focused on His mission is all we really need. He knows His Father will provide the rest. Even though this has been made known to us, we often still cannot help but give in to our own anxieties about what an unknown future has in store for us. This is simply our human nature, and the Disciples were no different than we are.
Jesus knows this very well, and this is why He once again patiently and lovingly reassured His friends not to worry, especially about what they would eat. He encouraged them to keep their minds focused on the grand plan, so that they could all achieve their intended purpose. Jesus is saying the same to us; do not be sidetracked, stay focused on His mission, so that we all can fulfill the true meaning of our lives: to know, love and serve God in all that we do.
What a timely and fitting mindset this would be for all of us to embrace as we head into Lent tomorrow.
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.
Have you ever let things of this world, such as hunger, distract you from what is really important?
How have you trusted and relied on the power of God recently?
What are you planning to do for Lent so you can focus less on the things of this world and more on the things 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.
"Jesus I trust in You."
"Here's my heart, Lord."
"Come 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?
Don't just give up things for Lent this year. Give up things that are a distraction from the greater good, God. Find a plan that can help you not only come with one loaf of bread, but trust that God will make it enough. Find new ways to pray and especially dive deeper into Scripture and the Sacraments.
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 Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.