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).
Jesus’ words in the Gospel today speak of vulnerable discipleship. Phrases like: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; to the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other as well; give to everyone who asks of you, and do not demand back what was taken from you. These types of actions can often stretch us to be radically vulnerable.
What does it mean to be a vulnerable disciple?
Vulnerable discipleship is someone who is willing to take a risk and live like Jesus even when it’s hard and at the possibility of getting hurt or disliked. As followers of Jesus we are called to witness to Him and His Church even though it can be tough.
I’d invite us to reflect on how we can be a little more vulnerable when it comes to our witness to Jesus and the faith. Here’s a few thoughts...
Love those who don’t seem to love you. Pray for those who bother or have hurt you. Give always, even when you know you won’t get repaid. Forgive continuously. Talk about Jesus in school and at work. Go the extra mile for someone who likely won’t move a finger to help you.
Being vulnerable is taking on the likeness of Jesus in our daily lives – words and actions. Where in my life can I be a bit more vulnerable as a disciple of Jesus?
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 vulnerable are you as a disciple? Are you willing to take a risk on Jesus and open yourself to the possibility of getting hurt or working through hardship?
How can you grow in your vulnerability as a disciple? How can you open yourself up more to God and others and live more like Christ?
Which of the phrases from today's Gospel sticks out to you as the most difficult to actually live out in your life? What small steps can you take to begin to follow those words of Christ?
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 open myself to you, Lord."
"I want to live like you."
"Open my heart, Lord."
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, take the phrase from today's Gospel that scares you the most or that you think is the most difficult to live out in your life. In prayer, make game plan for how you can practically follow Jesus' words in your own life. What are small steps you can take to live out the Gospel as a vulnerable disciple of Jesus? Throughout the day, strive to be Jesus to the people you encounter.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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