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).
Feeling like you belong is a great feeling. You’re part of the group. You’re on the “in”. People relate to you and accept your differences. If you think about it, you probably have some sort of understanding about what you would need to do or say in order to navigate life within a particular group.
Humans are social beings. At our core, we feel a need to belong to the world. To some degree or another, we all make adjustments to fit in. We are constantly striving to grow and improve, to fill our needs and satisfy our desires- just as one goal is accomplished, a new one presents itself. We can’t seem to sustain contentment with one thing and we always seem to fall short in becoming perfect.
Jesus is 100% human and 100% divine. He understands those pressures of being a human in the world and feels the reality that nothing on earth can satisfy all desires. Because we know of Jesus’ divine nature, it makes sense to us that Jesus did not feel a sense of belonging to the world. He belongs in his glorious dwelling place with the Father in Heaven.
Now let’s look at that line that Jesus said not once but twice in the same prayer:
“They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
If we believe Jesus is Lord and is in Heaven- where he belongs- and therefore doesn’t belong to the world at all, that means that we don’t belong to the world at all either. God created us, so we belong to God. Have you ever heard that you have a “God-shaped hole” in your heart? There is a longing in each of our hearts for God, but in some form of desperation or another, we humans continuously try to fill that hole with something on earth, which of course fails to sustain that longing.
Notice that Jesus doesn’t ask God to take us out of the world. Instead, Jesus sends us on the mission that he himself was sent to the world for. We’re not on earth just to hang out and do whatever… we have a job to do. That may sound daunting, being in a world we don’t even belong to with an extremely important mission to fulfill, but we can share in this with each other. We belong together.
Don’t get too comfortable here, and especially don’t go looking for comfort in the world. Remember where and to whom we truly belong.
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.
Where are you trying to fit in? What adjustments have you made to try to fit in better?
Do you feel a yearning in your heart for the Lord? How do you respond?
How has this world left you unsatisfied?
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.
"I belong to the Lord."
"I long for you, Lord."
"I am made for heaven."
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?
Do not worry about trying to fit in today. If you find yourself worrying today, say a short prayer, such as "Jesus, I trust in you."
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 Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.