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).
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Today we celebrate the two "founding fathers" of our Church, Peter and Paul, who in a unique and particular way carried on the torch lit by Christ 2,000 years ago - when carrying on the torch was no easy task, and in fact cost both of them their lives. Most churches in Europe have statues of Peter and Paul on either side of the Church or the entrance to the Church as a reminder to us of their commitment to Christ and sacrifice of their lives.
But what makes them so special? They knew Jesus - that's it. What enabled Peter to give that profound declaration almost 2,000 years ago when Christ asked him that piercing question: "but who do YOU say that I am?" How was Peter ready with such a perfect answer? Because he knew Jesus. He was friends with Jesus. He had spent almost 3 years with him in daily contact. He didn't just take other people's word about who Jesus was - he wanted to find out himself - so he dove into personal friendship with Jesus.
We spend so much time hearing what OTHER people have to say about who Jesus is - we may listen to homilies or talks or podcasts or read blogs or carpe verbum posts, but how much time do we spend ourselves talking directly to him? One on one. It's pretty crazy that we have a god who gives us access to one on one time with Him 24/7. And we barely take advantage of this. Jesus doesn't want us to just take other people's word about who He is, He wants us to come straight to Him, straight to the source, and find out for ourselves. That means asking tough questions and being open to hearing tough answers. Don't get me wrong - sometimes it's helpful to talk with other people about Him or listen to others talk about Him because we can learn from their perspective and how they engage in relationship with Him - but never as a replacement for putting in the time ourselves to grow our own personal relationship with Him.
So spend some time today going straight to the source- talk to Him directly. Ask him some honest questions about who He is and who you are, and commit to the hard work of growing a relationship with Him so that you are ready to answer gene he asks you- "but who do YOU say that I am?"
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.
Do I know a lot about Jesus or do I know Jesus?
Is most of my faith time just learning about Jesus, talking about Him with others, or reading about his teachings?
Who do I say that Jesus is in my life?
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.
"You are the Christ."
"You are the living God."
"You are my friend."
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?
Take some time to journal today answering the question "Who do you say that I [Jesus] am?" If you can't answer that question, contemplate what your prayer life could look like this week to begin to get to know Him, Jesus, the man, the Son of God, the brother who wants to be your friend, to guide and direct you in this life so you can be with Him in the next.
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.
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.