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).
Elijah is such an interesting and important figure in the Old Testament. He is a prophet, a miracle worker, and central force even for us today as we go back to try and understand who God is and what he has done with and for his people throughout time.
In today's story, we find the encounter of Elijah with Elisha, who would become a great prophet and miracle-worker who followed him. Elijah calls Elisha to follow him by placing his cloak on him; Elisha recognized the importance of this, but asks for permission to go back and say goodbye.
There's probably a lot going on here, but one thing stood out to me in Elisha's response: he got the urgency of responding to a call when you've received it. The question of saying goodbye to your family (which seems like a pretty reasonable thing to request) is not one that most of us would even ask for, we'd just do it. And yet he knows, and can sense in Elijah, that this call is not something I should turn to at some point. No, this is for right now, and this matters.
Elijah, in turn, seems to me as I pray with this passage to respond with a patience and a grace. Discipleship, as we know through our relationship with Jesus, is demanding but not in the way that a taskmaster is demanding. No, the life of discipleship is all invitation, but an invitation that comes with some real cost to it.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, an early follower of St. Francis and one of the great saints in the Christian tradition. Anthony's radical following of God's call, just like Elisha's, is an important thing for you and I to pray with today. How well am I listening to God's call for me? Would I go right now and do something completely new if God made it clear he was asking?
Discipleship is demanding. We have to look, sound, and think differently than those around us. We may feel isolated, alienated, and weird. In the end, though, discipleship matters and is worth it because it's a call to follow the one and only Person who could possibly be worth leaving behind everything and not counting the cost.
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.
How is God calling you deeper into a life of discipleship today?
If God asked for a radical change in your plans right now, how would you respond? Are you ready to follow him however he calls you, even when it's difficult?
What are the things that stand in your way of feeling the urgent call of the Gospel? Is it fear, self-doubt, worry, past sins, or attachments to things of this world?
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.
"I will follow you."
"I'll go where you send me."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
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.