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).
They’ll know we are Christians by our love by our loveeee, yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love. I’m guessing many of you have belted that song in Mass before…And to be honest after years of singing it… It’s kind of cheesy. When I read about great Christians, I think about people who gave up everything for the faith—I think about the saints. Maybe your favorite saint was a martyr, who shed their blood to help spread the message of the gospel. Maybe your favorite saint was a mystical religious, who gave up having a traditional family in order to enter into years of deep prayer. Maybe your favorite saint had such a bright mind that even today, years after their life, their writings bring peace amidst the turmoil of life. I think the reason that song above is cheesy is because we forget what love really means with Jesus.
Love isn’t just a giggle and a peaceful disposition. Love seeks action. It’s hard to jump into loving with both feet if we don’t have all the details of this love. What action? When? How? Will it hurt me? Will I be able to do it? Do not be afraid, a Father does not leave His children abandoned. Instead of stretching to get all our questions answered, I want to draw our minds to the last line of the gospel: “I did not come on my own, but He sent me.” Jesus was sent by the Father, and so He did the Father’s work.
Brothers and sisters, you didn’t choose this Lenten journey on a whim, you were sent. At your baptism you were indelibly marked; God has chosen you and now in each moment He sends you forth. Where is He sending us this Lent? He is sending us into our normal everyday lives, but the difference is, He’s sending us in order that we might love. We’ve been on this journey of Lent for quite a few weeks now; maybe your goals turned out to be harder than you thought or maybe life just got to busy. But each day, you are being sent by the Father into radical love. Your love might not look like the martyrs or the mystics, but the daily choice to go and do what our Father asks…is radical. Today, stand tall as you enter again into your daily sacrifices—not in order that others notice what you are doing, but instead so that Love itself radiates from you. Each soul we encounter, if we say yes to the Father who sends us, will know we are Christians by our Love. They will desire the one who sent you. They will come to know Love itself—and that my dear friends, is the reason we have been sent.
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 have you shown love to others this Lent in a deeper way?
What motivates you to love?
How has this Lent been challenging you to grow?
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.
"God is Love."
"I am sent by Love."
"I am made for Love."
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?
Reconsider your motivation behind your Lenten fasts, and seek new ways to allow real Love to shine through you in these final days of Lent.
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 Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.