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Lectio Divina for the Seventeenth Week  in Ordinary Time

We begin our prayer:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,

bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

(Collect, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Reading (Lectio)

Read the following Scripture two or three times.

John 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”  He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”  Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Meditation (Meditatio)


After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:

  • What word or words in this passage caught your attention? 
  • What in this passage comforted you? 
  • What in this passage challenged you?

If practicing lectio divina as a family or in a group, after the reflection time, invite the participants to share their responses.

Prayer (Oratio)

Read the Scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.

Contemplation (Contemplatio)

Read the Scripture again, followed by this reflection:

What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?

A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Why do I follow Jesus? What do I hope to receive from him?

What good are these for so many? When have I felt that I am not doing enough? How can I address the needs I see in the world?

Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted. What things do I tend to waste? How can I limit my waste of time, treasure, and talent?

After a period of silent reflection and/or discussion, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following: 

Closing Prayer:

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,           and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom         and speak of your might.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you,            and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand  and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The LORD is just in all his ways        and holy in all his works.

The LORD is near to all who call upon him,              to all who call upon him in truth.

(From Psalm 145)

Living the Word This Week

How can I make my life a gift for others in charity?

Research food insecurity in your area and donate time, food, or money to a local food bank.

Excerpts from the New American Bible, revised edition ©

2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.