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).
“What concern of it is yours?” Unfortunately this Gospel cuts out the paragraph before it which makes it more difficult to understand. In the verses leading up to this passage, Jesus’ prophecies that Peter will die a martyr. Peter is obviously not too excited about this news, so his immediate reaction is to deflect. He points at John, “Lord, what about him? Do you love him more or something so he isn’t going to have to suffer like me? How is that fair?” Jesus responds firmly “What concern of it is yours? You, follow me.”
It’s easy to read stories like these and laugh at Peter’s immaturity and stupidity. Yet over the years, I am less quick to laugh at Peter when his actions seem foolish; because I am a little quicker to realize that I am Peter, that I do the exact same thing all the time. It is all too tempting to look around at others and ask “Hey God, what about them? Why do they get to live the awesome life they have and I’m stuck with my life? Why don’t they have to go through all the stuff I go through? Why is it they are such a worse person than me and they always get away with it? Hey, look at them, look how sinful they are. At least I'm not as bad as them, so I'm good where I'm at, right?” And the questions go on. And his response is the same to all of them. “What concern of it is yours?”
When we act like Peter did, pointing to others strengths and/or weaknesses, it is because we are insecure. We don't think we are good enough or that God doesn't love us as we are, so we compare ourselves to others. This can be especially dangerous for us as Christians. We can be tempted to look at the goodness of others and despair over our inability to ever be as "good" as them or have the life they have. Or, the more dangerous temptation is to look at others and judge ourselves as morally superior, simply because their sins may be out in the open for everyone to see while our sin may be hidden beneath the shell of a false holiness. The reality is Christ doesn't want us looking at others, period. He doesn't callus to be nosy-bodies. We have plenty to take care of in our own lives, so no need to go trying to point out the flaws or strengths in others. "What concern of it is yours?"
Take some time to reflect. How often are you just like Peter? Who are the people you point at? What are the questions you ask about them? And most importantly, why do you do that? What is the underlying insecurity behind your questions? You don't have to earn God's love. He is already crazy about you.
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 do you act like Peter? What are the questions you ask about them?
What is your underlining question for God? What makes you doubt Him or feel insercure?
Do you doubt God's love for you? Why or why not? How can you better understand His love?
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.
"What concern of it is yours?"
"You follow me."
"Jesus, 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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, when you encounter a cross, an anxiety or fear instead of jumping to jealousy or anger give that moment over to God. Ask Him to be with you and ask for an increase in trust in His plan.
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 Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.