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).
"We belong to God.” That includes you. You belong to God. What does that mean? In the same way a little child belongs to their parents, you belong to your Heavenly Father. He loves you, he delights in you, and he takes care of you. He would do anything for you. Personally I find that so comforting, to know that I’m taken care of by my God, who loves me more than I could ever comprehend! And not only that but my efforts to follow him, my efforts to keep his commandments, to draw near to him they don’t go unseen! St. John is telling us here that Jesus sees us and “We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”
Are you striving to be more like Christ? Do you try your best to keep the commandments? Do you desire to know Jesus better and draw near to him? Friends, the effort you put forth, regardless of the fruit that may come from it, pleases the heart of your Lord. Jesus is so proud of you. Do you realize that?
He cares for you as his own child. As we keep his commandments and strive to become more and more like him he stays with us, cheering us on, encouraging us, and he also keeps us close to his heart. “Those who keep his commandments remain in Him and He in them.” Sometimes we will fail. That’s okay. This reading also talks about the importance of discerning the spirits that belong to God and those that don't, which can sound scary, but our God is so so much bigger than anything we can encounter in this world. When we live our lives for Christ, though it can be difficult, we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Ever. Because, unlike those who live for the world, we rely on the Lord, our Father, to take care of our every need, and He never fails.
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 are you striving to be more like Jesus?
How are you following the commandments?
You belong to God. What does that mean to you? Do you believe that?
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.
"We belong to God."
"Jesus is proud of me."
"Lord I need 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?
The new year is just beginning. Do you know this year how you will grow in faith? will you say one new prayer every day? Begin to journal? Spend more time in adoration? Make a faith resolution today.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Anna Roche, the High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, IL.
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