Let us Lectio: Working with God
The Memorial of St. Isidore the Farmer, May 15, 2020
Steps to Lectio Divina
Start by using these steps to reflect on the Scripture verse. Then read my meditation slowly.
Lectio: Having asked for the grace to hear God's word, read the passage twice.
Meditatio: During the second reading, pause whenever so moved and reflect on a word, a sentence, or an image that strikes you.
Oratio: Speak directly to God, and open your reflection to Him.
Contemplatio: Listen contemplatively for any response God might choose to make. Remember that God responds to us at times with loving silence.
From the Gospel for May 15, 2020, Memorial of St. Isidore (Jn 15:12-17)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
St. Isidore the Farmer was an uneducated day laborer on a farm who, along with his wife, attained sainthood through simplicity. Their holiness and lifestyle, furthermore, shows us how God places dignity into our work and the generosity God expresses in us when we set our spiritual priorities before our earthly ones. St. Isidore and his wife truly acknowledged that their lives depended on Him who “makes His sun rise on both the evil and the good, the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).
St. Isidore was known by his coworkers for his regular Mass attendance and devotions and for being a faithful man of God. This became a source of accusations that he was lazy and avoided work by these activities. However, not only was the claim of laziness found false but also the accusation that he was less productive than his fellow farmhands. Indeed, his supervisor observed St. Isidore accompanied by angels assisting the pious laborer as he plowed the fields and prayed.
After prayer and Mass, St. Isidore went back to his work hoping to accomplish the Father's plan in his life and in the world. In doing so, the humble farmer knew that if he would obey the Father and yield to His will, the Father would answer that prayer and accomplish His plan through Isidore, His servant.
St. Isidore and his wife, Maria Torribia were poor but spent their time and resources helping others in need. The two responded to God’s love for them by participating in God’s love for others.
May we, like St. Isidore the Farmer, encounter God and go forth from His presence seeking to honor Him in all that we do, even our simple daily tasks.
Callie Nowlin, MTS, is a regular contributor to the North Texas Catholic.
Callie Nowlin, MTS, is the Director of Religious Education for Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Abbott and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Penelope.