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).
If you’ve already been to mass today and then went out in public, you may have noticed people looking at you a little more or maybe you’re just hyperaware of the fact that people can see you today because you have ashes on your forehead. Are you acting natural? I have to ask because, to be honest, sometimes having external signs that I am Catholic (be it the ashes or wearing a saint bracelet, cross, miraculous medal, etc.) makes me feel more responsible for being “holy” in my every word or action.
Now on the other hand, who are you when no one is watching? Do you seek holiness for the earthly gain? Do you desire attention more from other people than from God? What are your intentions?
I really love this Gospel reading. It always makes me think about how I can grow in humility and simplicity. I want my intentions to become as pure and holy as possible. I want to strive to do the “right thing” regardless of who is watching or what my personal gain would be. I believe even the tiniest moments of saying “yes” to virtue is a big deal because it is a step towards building good and holy habits, which leads to developing a good and holy character.
It is good to be reminded of our call to humility and simplicity, especially as we begin our Lenten journey rooted in fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Being steadfast in our intentions this Lent will be helpful whenever the road becomes difficult. Always know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Just like when Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, the devil will try to tempt you and lead you astray. Knowing your intentions, your purpose, and your goal will help you prepare for those moments.
Underlying our call to humility and simplicity is a call to intimacy with God, our Father. To be intimate with God is a genuine communion. Love. That is what God made you for.
Think of the person you are closest too. The person on this earth you love the very most. Do you like to keep secrets from that person? Do you like when you sense that he/she is keeping secrets from you? How do you feel when that person confides in you?
From the smallest of sacrifices to the ultimate self-denial, when we lovingly do these things in secret, they connect us with God in a unique way. When there is none but you and God to know the good that you’ve done, you show God how special He is to you. You move past any earthly gain to go straight to the ultimate source of all life and love.
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.
Who am I when no one is looking?
Am I sharing my fast to gain approval from others? Or am I trying to live as a witness?
What am I doing this lent to grow in holiness?
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 am made for love."
"I am loved."
"I am called to greatness."
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.
We are called to fast today from meat and eating between meals. Add an additional media fast between meals as well. Instead of looking at your phone during a free moment, take that time to pray and be reminded of the love God has for you.
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 Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.