From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Shared Lectio Divina, July 2021

Shared Lectio Divina, July 2021

Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio group on Tuesday evenings. The following are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.

Reflections for 6 July | 13 July | 20 July | 27 July | the whole collection

6 July

Gospel reading: Matthew 9.32-end

Word: mute


The word first struck me because of the Zoom functionality. We participants have the power we have to mute and unmute ourselves. The host (a word I also associate with Jesus in the Eucharist) has the higher power the to mute all participants and decide whether to allow or disallow unmuting. If unmuting is enabled, a participant has to be the one to choose to do so. The host cannot do it for them. That is, the host provides the participant with the power to use their voice, but the participant has to choose to use this power.

Secondly, I reflected on how the characters in the passage do use their voices – the demoniac speaks after being mute, the crowd speaks, the Pharisees speak. In the first part, Jesus isn’t recorded as speaking, but he is the only one in part two to speak – teaching, proclaiming, speaking to the disciples. There is a further choice here – whether to use our voices to build up or to cut down.

So what? What does this mean for me? I went back to Soul Cube and reflected on the phrases ‘I am enough’ and ‘I have a voice’ that over the years I have gradually learnt from God.

13 July

Gospel reading: Matthew 11.20-24

Word: reproach


It would be unbearable to be reproached by Jesus – to see the disappointment in his eyes. it is tough to listen to the Reproaches on Good Friday and really take them on board.

Even these places, and God’s chosen people, who or which have been richly blessed, are not beyond reproach. But Jesus/God does not want to reproach and send to Hades. God wants to redeem and keeps blessing and nudging in hope that we will turn.

Compare Abraham negotiating with God over the fate of Sodom. God went along with it because God wanted to find evidence of righteousness, and would have spared Sodom for the tiniest shred.

Judgement is real. But nowhere is beyond redemption. Nowhere, nothing, no-one is beyond reproach or beyond redemption. We only need to repent, to turn in a moment (in the twinkling of an eye) to God.

The challenge here for me is not to judge others. I must leave them to God and look to the beam in my own eye. It is also not to allow myself to be or feel judged by others. That too I must leave to God.

20 July

Gospel reading: Matthew 12.46-end

Words: wanting … waiting


The leader misread the second ‘wanting’ in the passage as ‘waiting’ during the first read-through. So I reflected on the difference – the more passive waiting, or the strength of desire coupled with impatience expressed in wanting.

It drew to mind the author’s encouragement to ‘swink and sweat’ to pierce the Cloud of Unknowing. Also Psalm 42 ‘when shall I come and see God’s face?’ The psalm is full of the language of desire, to the point of pain.

How strong is my desire? How can I couple it with patient waiting?

A further thought re being ‘outside’… for all that I desire to remain outside the institution and the club (a little à la Simone Weil), my true desire is to be inside. That is, to crawl into Jesus’ arms, or to be hidden under God’s wings, or to pray as it is prayed in the Anima Christi: ‘within thy wounds, hide me’.

27 July

Gospel reading: Matthew 13.36-43

Words: weeds … causes of sin


Having recently read Richard Mabey Weeds, these were I suppose near the top of my mind. if weeds are plants growing where they are not wanted, then dandelions in my lawn are not weeds and potato shoots where I missed lifting some last year are weeds. On the other hand, Mabey references the suggestion that weeds are plants with the tendency to grow where they are not wanted – on which measure dandelions are weeds and potatoes are not weeds – probably.

I applied the parable and its aspects to myself. What are the weeds in me that need rooting out? One obvious answer that I’ve been thinking about recently is the Japanese knotweed that is my addiction to my smartphone and certain apps/websites (BBC News, Guardian and Facebook, I’m looking at you). I need more tactics to help me pull them out. Perhaps prayer is the good seed, and the more prayer that is planted the less room there is for competing weedlife. It would be good to commit again to my evening prayer slot, giving myself a ‘top up’ between morning prayer times.