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 grew up playing a lot of sports. Hockey, football, running track, rugby- there was a lot of sports going on in my life from the earliest time I can remember all the way through college. To be an athlete, for anyone who has ever done it, takes a lot of hard work. Practice upon practice, conditioning, eating well, getting enough sleep, and everything that it takes to be an athlete is a big commitment. However, the biggest commitment was the sacrifices it took in my relationships. I remember times when I wasn’t able to see friends, family, or do some of the things I really wanted to do as a result of my training. I remember asking the question on a number of occasions, “is this worth it?”
Today’s Gospel brings about a time where I think the disciples were in a similar situation. They ask Jesus a simple question, “who can be saved?”, after hearing Jesus tell them how difficult gaining eternal life can really be. I imagine that after all of the time they spent following Jesus, hearing him tell them how difficult it is for those who are rich, in whichever way, was a moment where they had to ask themselves, “is this worth it?”
Jesus himself says that those who have given up houses, brothers, sisters, parents, and even more, will be those who inherit eternal life. Just like being an athlete, though in a much bigger way, being a disciple of Jesus takes a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. Being rich doesn’t just mean having money or material possessions, but it means being rich in other ways- having friendships that are the most important part of life, putting them in front of a relationship with the Lord can also fall into this category. To inherit eternal life takes quite a bit of sacrifice on our part. There are times when we have to walk away from the ways we find comfort in life in order to give a full “yes” to the Lord. More importantly, we hear from Jesus that it’s impossible for any of us to do this on our own- we need to have the grace of God to make the hard sacrifices in order to follow him. Being a disciple isn’t going to be easy for any of us and I’m sure we’ll ask the question, “is this worth it?”, many times. But today, we can rest assured in the truth that, by the grace of God, we will be able to make the sacrifices and inherit the greatest treasure of all- eternal life spent with the Lord.
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 has following the Lord called me to make sacrifices in my life?
How do I live richly and how does that affect my ability to follow Jesus?
Is following the Lord and making sacrifices to do so really worth it? How so?
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, I trust in you."
"Help me choose you, Lord."
"This is all worth it."
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 time today to ask the hard question prompted by today's Gospel, "is this worth it?" See what the Lord reveals to you when you ask. If the answer for you is "yes", ask for the grace to be thankful and continue being strong in your sacrifices. If the answer is "no", ask God to give you the grace to see how living for him really is worth it!
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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