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).
You might be familiar with the story of Jesus driving out the people in the temple. He casts out in anger all those who have taken root there, those who are selling things to make a profit in His Father’s house. It is one of the few places in the gospel that we see Jesus angry. Why? Because they have taken over what belongs to His Father and filled it with anger, greed and the things of this world. They have not come for a short time, instead they have made the temple their home. Slowly, it is filled up with things that don’t belong to God.
You have your own temple. You have your own heart. St. Paul tells us that our body is a temple and the Holy Spirit dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). What have you allowed to take root in your heart? What are you filling your heart with?
The things we fill our hearts with might not be inherently bad, but what happens is when we give them more glory, more value, more time than our Lord, we can turn them into false idols, just like the people of the temple. When we fill our hearts with these things, our hearts become burdened, tarnished and more ready to be filled with other things and not the Lord.
Maybe you’re reading this right now and you know what is filling your heart, but maybe you don’t. I encourage you to spend time in prayer today and ask the Lord what He sees you filling your heart with.
For me, I recently realized I was filling my heart with Instagram. Instagram isn’t bad, but the way I was using it was. I was posting everything I was doing: my beach vacation, Cubs games, concerts. All things I was doing in real life, but I was posting to fill a hole in my heart. To make myself feel better about the life I was living. I wasn’t being real with my Instagram feed or myself.
I had a priest tell me very bluntly in confession that I needed to stop. That what I was doing wasn’t helping my heart, but hurting it. That I needed to turn my heart (and my instagram) towards Jesus.
I needed help to see what was taking over my heart, and I needed Jesus’s help to remove those temptations, those wounds. He wants our hearts. He wants our pure, clean hearts and He wants to be Lord of them. Will you let Jesus remove what is cluttering up your heart, so that you can return to Him?
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.
Do you see yourself as a temple of God? Do you allow yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
What are you filling your heart with? The things of God or the things of the world?
How can you make more room in your heart for God? In what ways do you need God's help?
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.
"I need You."
"Come into my heart."
"Lord, heal me."
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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Spend time in prayer asking for God's help to uproot the things in your heart that hurt your relationship with Him. Ask for His help in seeing what those things are and the strength to turn away from temptation and sin.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.