Step #1: Lectio / Read
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).
“I have come to set the world on fire, and how I wish it was already ablazing.”
These words don’t really fit with the lovey dovey, sheep holding pictures of Jesus we usually see. These words are strong, harsh and incendiary. Is Jesus really calling for a fight?
Yes, He is. Jesus came to change the world. He came to reunite us with God the Father. To do so, He was betrayed by a friend, condemned by a broken system, brutally beaten, mocked and nailed to a cross. His mission and His death was anything but warm and fuzzy.
Jesus knows that the mission He is leaving us with is anything but warm and fuzzy. It is going to be hard, and sometimes brutal. If we’re lucky, we will never have to become actual martyrs for our faith, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t also be tested.
Maybe you’re like me, and you get mocked in high school for wearing a cross and praying before lunch. Maybe your friends don’t understand why you have to leave a sleepover early to go to Mass. Maybe you get mocked for not going to parties where there will be alcohol. Maybe you don’t even get the invite to them because your friends are purposely choosing to leave you out. Maybe it gets even worse, and there are times when standing up for your faith permanently changes your relationship with friends and siblings.
But even though it is difficult, Jesus is telling us today that it is worth it. Jesus wouldn’t have died for you if He didn’t know it was worth it. You are worth it to Him. How will you live that out?
One of my favorite quotes from St. Catherine of Sienna echoes today’s Gospel, “If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze.” If you live your life as Jesus is asking you to be you will set the world on fire. Our faith can change the world. How will you change the world?
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 you hear Jesus say that He wants to set the world on fire, what do you think of? Does that challenge your view of who Jesus is? What does it teach you?
Reflect on that quote from St. Catherine of Siena. Are you who you should be? Are you letting God set the world ablaze through you?
Jesus' knows you are worth it to Him. Do you trust that? How can you let His love be a bigger part of your life?
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.
Set the world ablaze.
You are enough.
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take a step today to be the person God created you to be. Maybe spend time listening to that sibling of yours who you are mean to. You could do extra chores for your parents, or just really focus on studying for that test you have come. Pick one concrete thing and do it well, be who God made you to be, and realize it's okay if you don't like it as long as it's what God wants for your life.
Smartphone Lock Screen
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.