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).
A couple years back, a few of my friends and I had the opportunity to travel to Montserrat, Spain as a part of Franciscan University’s study abroad program. A beautiful city literally fashioned into a mountaintop, Montserrat’s gigantic peaks overlook Barcelona in the distance. One particular day, we decided to climb the highest mountain in Montserrat, St. Jerome’s peak. At the time, I was a sophomore in college, i.e. severely out of shape after the past two years of a diet existent on pizza and Dr. Pepper. Nevertheless, I committed myself to climbing this peak and pushing through whatever exhaustion that came to get there. After only about 30 minutes in the 100 degree heat of Montserrat, I was spent, but I elected to keep forging ahead no matter the cost. After hour two, I started to become delirious, embracing the tunnel vision that now enraptured me. Shortly after this set in, the rest of the climb became a blur, so much so that in fact I do not remember it. As my friends tell it, fueled by exhaustion and deliriousness, I reached the top of the peak, promptly blacked out for about ten minutes, then came to, asking in Spanish a couple who was at the top to take a picture of us (I do not Spanish).
All this to say, reflecting back on this day helps me bring those powerful words of today’s Gospel into perspective: “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” That day, I lost all sense of myself in order to reach my goal of getting to the top of the mountain. How much more then in the Christian life must we take this charge from Jesus Himself seriously to lose very selves in order to find the life we are called to through Him?
The pressing challenge of today’s Gospel is are you willing to give up everything to follow Jesus Christ? Are you willing to give your life up in order that He can give you His? In reality, this is all that matters, to follow Jesus to the end and give of ourselves completely to those around us. To lose one’s life for the sake of Christ necessitates then a willingness to give up anything that may be standing in the way of giving oneself completely to Him.
Fulton Sheen was keen on the phrase/challenge “waste your life”, meaning, be unafraid to give all of yourself at all times to both God and neighbor even to the point it seems on the outside like you are wasting your time. How can you waste your life on Christ and others? Today, honestly ask yourself, what is it that is keeping me from giving myself to Jesus Christ? And then, pray for the grace to leave behind everything, even those things you are currently struggling to leave behind, in order to fall into the newness and fullness of life that only Jesus Christ can offer us.
Today, waste your very self on Jesus Christ, and you will gain everything. AMDG.
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 can you waste your life on Christ and others?
What are you afraid to give to the Lord?
When do you hold yourself back from giving yourself to the Lord?
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.
"Waste Your Life."
"Lord, I give it all to you."
"I give you everything."
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 "waste your life" to prayer. What frightens you from giving everything to the Lord? What do you give to Him? How can you lay down your life today?
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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