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).
“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” Jesus is calling out our temptation to default into mediocrity and complacency. Whenever we are in sin, there is always the temptation to go to a higher authority and ask if what we are doing is a sin, or if is, if it is really “that bad” of a sin. Jesus is telling us pretty plainly today, “judge for yourselves what is right.” This doesn’t mean that we become our own measuring standard of what is right and what is wrong. Rather, it means that we ought to honestly examine our own conscience about what is the right thing to do, what is God asking of me, not “What can I do to get by?”
This is a rebuke of the minimalist in each of us, who just wants to do the bare minimum to get by or get into Heaven. Christ is calling us to something much higher and much greater. Life is not just about following the bare minimum rules to get by and get into Heaven, but it's about the abundance that Christ wants us to be walking in. If we make it about the rules, we are totally missing the whole thing. Instead of focusing on what we are not allowed to do or what technically is a sin, Christ is calling us to “judge for ourselves what is right.” He is calling us to perfection. And it’s a perfection that has our best interest in mind, because it is what will ultimately make us happiest and most fulfilled. And we know that to be the truth in the depths of our own heart, that’s why He issues the command for us to judge for ourselves what is right.
So, what is one way today that you are trying to just get by or get away with a particular sin in your life, and how is Christ calling you to go above and beyond just avoiding the sin and inviting you into a life of heroic charity? Maybe instead of saying things that could technically be labeled as gossip about that one person that annoys you (but technically you think it might not be a sin), you go out of your way today and maybe sit with them at lunch and find out something about their life and then pray for them tonight.
Maybe it’s something else. Christ is inviting you to judge for yourselves what is right.
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 is Christ calling you to go above and beyond just avoiding the sin and inviting you into a life of heroic charity?
How can you examine your life with Christ today?
How can Jesus help you to find what is right?
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 is right?"
"Lead me Lord."
"Help me to judge."
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?
Tonight, take a through examination of conscience. Then pray and find one way to do better tomorrow.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.
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