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).
File today's Gospel under the list of things that Jesus definitely would have had to repeat a number of times if he lived in 2020.
Jesus is in the midst of his public ministry today when the scribes, one of the powerful religious groups of the time, comes forward with an allegation that the only way he could possibly be doing what he's doing is through the devil. Why do they say that? Jesus isn't on the scribes TEAM. Jesus doesn't look or sound like them, but he's doing miraculous and powerful things. The scribes don't have context for it, and so they throw it out; it's not GOD, it's the DEVIL!
Seeming relatively calm for just having been accused of being in cahoots with Satan, Jesus explains how crazy this thought actually is. If he was working with the devil, why would he be casting out demons? Why would a demon work powerfully over another demon? What does that accomplish?
Jesus, in the way that he was so able to do, turns their argument directly against them. And then, using that very argument, he makes a very important point for the church throughout these 2,000 years: a house divided against itself cannot stand. If we within the church are busy pointing at everyone else in the church and casting doubt on whatever miraculous or good thing they are seemingly doing because they don't fit into the mold we want them to, we're never going to be able to do the work God wants us to do to build up the church!
This is a wild message in a lot of ways for today. Between social media and just the general age in which we live, we've been conditioned to have a dualistic mindset. There's always sides, and we always have to choose a side, and the guys on the other side are ALWAYS THE WORST. You don't agree with me on which Tik Tok video is the funniest? How dare you. You didn't comment on that Instagram post I put up within the first 24 hours? Unfollow. You believe a thing that is slightly different than what I believe? How stupid can you be.
We're so trained to think that anyone different from us is against us that we're missing Jesus' point here: we need to stand together. What the Church needs right now is a generation of people willing to listen, to engage, to care for one another not in a way that ignores what is right, but in a way that realizes that the person I'm talking to is a human person who deserves to be listened to. In many situations, the Church is here to help us what's right and wrong. Even if they're wrong, though, the person we're disagreeing with is still a person, and we as the Church need to learn to see that, to hear them, and to work together as Church to build up a house no longer divided, but united.
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.
When someone disagrees with you, how do you respond?
How can you be more like Jesus when confronted in different situations?
How can you better love someone today?
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 be like you."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Jesus let me love like you."
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?
Say a prayer this morning and ask to Jesus to help you react to every situation you are in so that you can glorify Him.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.