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).
As we entered back into Ordinary Time this past week, we’ve been walking through 1 Samuel with the first readings at daily Mass. From the beginning, with Hannah and her son Samuel, who God chose to be his high priest, and all the way up until the unveiling of David in today’s reading, we’ve been able to see how God has been shaping the future for his people, Israel. Today’s reading is the account of Samuel meeting Jesse and his sons, including David, who is eventually anointed as king of Israel. As I reflect on the reading today, looking back to the beginning of Ordinary Time last week, I’m struck by how the Lord is faithful to his people.
The story of David being chosen over all of his older brothers, who epitomize strength and kingly stature, is one that you are most likely familiar with. The small shepherd boy who seems to have no business being king is chosen over all the others—showing us how God can doesn’t call the equipped but equips the called. But in the midst of this bigger story, it’s apparent that God has always been working for his people, and not simply trying to make ends meet when certain people fail.
Saul, the king of Israel before David is anointed, failed to follow the Lord’s command. Israel was suffering and leaderless and it could seem like God had to keep readjusting his plan because we kept messing it up. Isn’t this the story of the whole Old Testament? God makes plans for us and we fail, so he has to reload and start again? If we want to make the narrative fit, we could, but we’d fail to give God enough credit. God is so much bigger than our expectations and our plans—he knows when we’re going to succeed and when we’re going to fail, as individuals and as a people. The plans that God has for you are bigger than your successes and your failures. He has been working from the foundation of time to bring about peace and fulfillment in your life. Through every failure, God has been faithful. It may seem like things are falling apart in the midst of your own brokenness, you may be feeling the despair that Israel felt when Saul failed them as king; but through all of it, God has been working a masterpiece that will come to fulfillment in your life. God is always faithful, always working behind the scenes, even when it seems like he isn’t doing anything. It may take time and, like the small shepherd boy David, it may not be what you anticipated, but he will be faithful, nonetheless.
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.
How have I doubted that God is being faithful in bringing about good in my life?
In what ways am I in need of God working for the good in my life right now?
How have I believed the lie that my failures are to blame for good things not coming about in my life? How have I let that lead me to blame God?
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.
"You are faithful."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Help me see how you are working."
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?
Take what comes to light in prayer today, the ways you feel like you are struggling to trust God, struggling to overcome your failures, or whatever else, and offer it back to God in an act of trust. If you want to find a good, prayerful way to increase your trust, find the Litany of Trust (just Google it) and pray it.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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