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).
What does it mean to “turn the other cheek”?
I used to think it meant that if someone hurt me in some way, I should not fight back, but allow that person to hurt me in another way. I thought humility was about thinking that I was unworthy of anything good, and that it was a good sign when people hurt me.
It sounds silly for me to even write that out now because that is definitely NOT what Jesus meant. (And for the record, that kind of “unworthiness” is just as bad as thinking you’re extraordinarily worthy… it’s been explained to me before that humility can be viewed as being on the middle of a spectrum and too far on either side is pride.)
Jesus was telling his disciples to refrain from seeking vengeance and instead embrace humility and generosity. Jesus is encouraging his disciples to love and give without condition. There is no need to worry about what justice will be done and no need to complain about what has been asked of us. Jesus invites us all to go above and beyond in our love and goodness to others, regardless of our own or the other person’s past experiences and choices.
It is not so much about being a good example to others and hoping that we’ll rub off on them, but more so about building up God’s kingdom by what we can do ourselves. Instead of meeting the other person with the wrong they wronged us with, we can meet them with forgiveness.
Have you ever been tempted to give someone the “silent treatment”? What about saying you’re never going to let that one person borrow something ever again? Do you purposely not offer someone a ride because they rarely offer to drive you? How often do you match the anger in your tone or words of someone who started an argument with you?
It can be just the littlest things or the greatest things. It can be in response to people who intentionally hurt you or to people who unintentionally hurt you. It can be by what you say and do or what you don’t say and do.
That temptation to withhold love and forgiveness is not from God. Let us trust God in even these small ways that He knows what is best for us and what will make us eternally happy. Next time, chose to turn the other cheek, not out of pride or fear, but because it will help you grow closer to Christ.
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 does turning the other cheek mean in my life? How can I better understand what Jesus meant by turning the other cheek?
How can my response to someone when I am angry or hurt better and be an example of God's love?
What is the difference between turning the other cheek and pride? How can I better live humility?
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.
"Turn the other cheek."
"Let me act like Christ."
"God wants what is best for me."
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?
Today, make sure in everything you do you are being a living witness to God's love. Turn the other cheek and show patience, kindness and compassion wherever you can.
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 Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.