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).
I was reading Harry Potter today – that's not a joke, there's no punch line here, just stick with me – and there was a moment that was all too familiar with how we often live the faith. Harry is facing a tough situation and sees a fountain where people throw in coins that are given to the poor. He promises that if he gets out of his situation, he'll give to it, and true to his word, he does. We'll come back to that.
Today's Gospel is one of the best passages in all of the Gospels in my opinion. What an amazing scene! Jesus walks into the temple, reads the scroll, then sits down and teaches with power and authority. In the reading, the prophet Isaiah spoke of freedom, of healing, of liberty. Jesus, with power and wisdom, speaks over the people that He brings those very things.
How do the people respond?
They can't believe it because they've seen Jesus, they've known him, and they haven't experienced those things in their lives. Why haven't you done that for me, you can almost hear them saying. Sure you talk a big game, but what does it mean, we've known you since you were a kid and our lives aren't perfect.
Just like Harry Potter and just like the people who heard Jesus in the temple, our faith all too often is focused on the question of “what have you done for ME?” Yeah, Jesus I know you can do good things, but I will give to the poor and serve you with my life when you take care of my needs, of my problems, when you heal my illness.
What did St. Paul say in the first reading today? I resolved to know nothing, he says, but Christ and Him crucified. What is our faith about? It's not having what we want, or things working out, or things being easy. It's about Christ. Jesus Christ, savior of the world, and it's about Him crucified, for it is on that cross that we find liberty, healing, and life. It is through His passion and death that we are freed, and so when we approach Him there, on that cross, we can stop waiting for everything to work out and start giving our love to the Divine Physician who heals all of our wounds and gives us life, even if it's not in the way we're asking for.
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.
What blessings has Jesus given you? Are they enough?
When something good happens, how do you react? Are you grateful? Do you ask for more?
Do you trust that Jesus will take care of you?
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.
"Jesus you are enough."
"Jesus you are my savior."
"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?
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.