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).
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…it is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.”
This is our faith. The Kingdom of God is us; it’s you. It’s all of the faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, loving and serving God and seeking to do His will.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us of something that we frequently forget, though: the Kingdom isn’t built upon big things. It isn’t always big, boisterous, and in your face. Often, the Kingdom becomes manifest in our world through small ways. Our Church began in a small way with only a handful of apostles and a small group of disciples living underground. But, through their faithfulness to the teaching, communal life, breaking of the bread, and prayer, they began to transform the world - making the Kingdom present in our world. The small mustard seed became the big tree. The leaven added to the wheat gives life to the bread, causing it to come alive and rise.
So often we get caught up thinking that seeking holiness and sanctity is a big deal. We think that it’s an impossible mountain to summit and that even if we try, we probably won’t reach the top. We look forward in life and have difficulty seeing ourselves as saints and holy men and women because we are only focused on the large plant that the seed becomes, or the leavened bread that comes out of the oven. But today, Jesus reminds us that all it takes is being faithful in small ways. We say yes today and the seed grows a little bit. We say yes tomorrow and it grows a little more. The more faithful we can be in little ways - praying, participating in sacramental life, growing in Christian community - the more we make the Kingdom present in our world.
Let today be a chance to say yes in a small way. The more we say yes, the more the leaven rises, the more the seed grows, and the more we realize that holiness is possible. Let the Kingdom come alive in your life today.
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.
Have you ever fallen into the trap of thinking that holiness was too big, too hard, or not attainable by you? Why did you reach that point?
What small ways is Jesus asking you to say yes to Him today?
How have you already seen the mustard seed of faith that led you to say yes grow into big things? Are you asking God to do that again?
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.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Give me faith."
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 a few minutes today to journal about ways that you've seen the Lord work in your life, even if it was a small thing as a result of a small act of faith on your part. Pray about it, then write them down so you can go back and read them in times of difficulty or doubt.
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, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.