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).
Today we have the Gospel of angry Jesus!
Think about it, this is the one time that Jesus comes into the marketplace and starts flipping tables because a place that is meant to be holy has become a place of corruption.
I always wondered why Jesus causes such a commotion, but sometimes we can become so lax in our sin that we forgot that we even have an issue. In fact, maybe every time we see that one friend of ours we always gossip, but we do it so often that we just write it off as, “well, that’s what we do.” Or maybe we always walk past that guy in the hallway that we know no one talks to but we think, “well, I’m not going to talk to him and allow myself to be rejected too.” Or lastly, maybe we are in an inappropriate relationship and we just think, “well, we love each other, so it’s okay.”
You see Jesus doesn’t want us simply to be okay with allowing the temple of our souls to become a place that is littered with sin, so sometimes he has to cause some commotion and do drastic things in order to get our attention, but let’s not be afraid of that because Jesus will only flip a table in your life if he knows that you will be a better person by picking it back up, dusting it off, and using it for the right reason.
You see that’s the key! The tables in the temple were being used for the wrong reason. They weren’t glorifying God! So recognize that every sin is just a wrong use of our desires. No one actually wants to hurt another with gossip, but rather a person who gossips just wants to be understood and heard. The person who doesn’t care for the other in fear of rejection, isn’t a bad person, but just someone who wants to also be accepted and so becomes fearful. The person with an inappropriate relationship just wants union, but instead of going to God they are going to another person for immediate gratification.
You see there isn’t anything wrong with our true desires, but our attempt to fulfill the desires can be completely upside down and then we don’t truly glorify God and we don’t truly encounter authentic love and joy. So today ask God what your true desires are. Don’t be afraid to allow him to flip some things over and reveal to you that some tables have been used for the wrong things and in the wrong way. Then allow him with love to show you how to truly be satisfied!
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.
Ask the Lord to reveal to you the state of the temple of your heart. What tables would He want to flip over to cause you to recognize your sin?
In this moment, invite the Lord to do just that: flip your tables. And allow yourself to feel genuine sorrow for your sins. (Just don't despair or wallow in shame.)
Now ask Jesus to help you turn those tables back up. Let Him do it one at a time. Each time He turns a table back up, allow yourself to be filled with joy and thank the Lord for His mercy!
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.
"My house shall be a house of prayer."
"Purify the temple of my heart."
"Lord, have mercy."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
When is the last time you went to confession? Resolve to go again soon, and actually plan it out. Schedule it. Commit to it.
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 Fr. Kyle Manno, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.