SOAP - A Lectio Divina Journey
“How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed?
How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard?
And how are they to hear without a preacher?
But how are they to preach unless they are sent?
Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” (Romans 10: 14-15)
It was through discernment and reading Scripture that I became convicted of my call to get up and go. I knew that this was what God wanted. I just knew it.
I had been pushing down the call to evangelize for a while. I was so comfortable. Pope Benedict XVI once said “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness”. I had a great job, I had great friends, I was still studying, when God called me. The hardest thing for me was leaving my job. I worked in a residential care service for teenagers with intellectual disabilities and had been journeying with some of the young men for about three years. Little did I know that God would fulfil my desires in different ways within youth ministry and community life. I thought that I had everything that I wanted, but when I left, God gave me so much more. I am so very grateful for my call.
We are so blessed to have been told the Good News. We are so blessed to have learned about God and his great plan for us. Whether it was your mom or dad, or your family or your teacher or a Priest, thank God that they had the courage to spread the gospel. Praise God for the apostles and disciples that spread the good news and everyone in between them and us. It’s not always easy to tell others about God. Many people sacrificed so much, even their lives so that we could know the Good News today.
And how amazing is that good news! Did you ever think about how great it is that we can speak to Jesus whenever we want? Okay, we don’t always hear him or feel him or see him, but we can have a conversation with Jesus whenever, wherever, however. Jesus, who healed and rose people from the dead. Jesus, who paid the ultimate price. Jesus, who humbled himself so much to conceal himself under the appearance of a piece of bread. Jesus, who is love.
How do I respond to such love? By taking the pierced hand of Jesus who is inviting me to participate in His mission of bringing us back to the love of our Heavenly Father.
A great way of finding out – discerning – how we are called to participate in that mission is being filled with the word of God. The Bible is such an incredible and powerful gift that God has given us.
Here at NET we try to become immersed in the scriptures in a very personal way. We love acronyms, so we call this method SOAP and it has just 4 easy steps: Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
1. Scripture. The first step is quite simple. Take the Mass readings and read it slowly. To find the Mass readings, you can google ‘Catholic Mass readings’ and a link will pop right up. Read the readings slowly, take a 30 second pause, and then read it again. Really focus on every word.
2. Observation. When you’ve read the Scripture passage, there might be a word or a phrase that stuck out to you. What is that word or phrase? Why did that phrase catch your eye? What phrase do you keep going back to when you read this passage? Hold onto that.
3. Application. Take what has stood out to you and apply it to your life. What part of your heart did that word or words hit? What struck you about it? Is Jesus speaking through this reading to remind you to be hopeful or to have faith in Him? Maybe Jesus is asking you to step into deep waters and trust that He has a plan for you. It is quite possible that all Jesus wants to do through His Scripture is to remind you that He loves you. Whatever it is, apply it. Where do the Mass readings line up with the events happening in your life?
4. Prayer. The final step is to make a prayer using the previous 3 steps. Depending on what you took from the application step, your prayer can be anything. If you’ve felt Jesus asking you to trust Him more, pray for the grace to do that. Your prayer can be short and very simple. The point is that it comes from your heart.
We have a mission. We have a very important mission. So many people are walking around unaware of the fact that they are made by God. So many people are walking around unaware of the fact that they are made in the image and likeness of God. So many people are walking around unaware of the fact that they are so deeply loved and seen by God. So many people are walking around thinking that there is no purpose or meaning to their life. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? Who are you going to tell?