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).
Growing up, my family loved watching Andrew Loyd Weber’s musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Between this production and the movie “Prince of Egypt,” the story of Joseph was fairly familiar to me. But there is always more to the story that we often miss if we don’t read directly from the Bible.
As the oldest of four, I find Reuben’s part in the story very interesting. The oldest of twelve brothers, Reuben, is the only one who seems concerned by the plot against Joseph. In the first reading from Genesis, we read that he convinced the others not to kill Joseph. Instead, he suggests they throw him in a well, with the hope that he might rescue his brother later. While this thought may be admirable given the circumstances, I still wonder what would have happened if he had challenged his brothers further and stood up for Joseph.
Often in our lives, we take the easy road. Whether out of fear or a desire to please others, we try not to ruffle too many feathers in our families, friend groups and social circles. We back down when we should stand up for what is right or don’t speak loudly enough for anyone to listen.
In a culture that subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) applauds death and distorts the truth, we have all become like Reuben in one moment or another, taking the easy road and hoping we can make up for it later.
But as Christians, and especially during this season of Lent, we cannot live our faith halfheartedly. We must learn to be staunch defenders of the truth, even when those around us disagree.
Lent is a season of repentance — of recognizing our shortcomings and striving to cut from our lives the elements that set us up for failure and lead us to sin. If possible, try to go to confession twice this season — now during the early weeks to receive the grace to avoid sin and stick with your Lenten penances, and before Easter to best enter into the joy of the resurrection. Admit where you did not defend someone or speak boldly about the faith. Above all, let’s ask God to learn from these mistakes so we can be stronger Christians — eager to spread the Gospel of God instead of following the crowd of the culture.
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.
When have you stayed quiet when you knew you should speak out?
Have you denied the truth when you knew it needed to be spoken?
Do you shy away from being bold because you aren't sure if that will make you the next target for ridicule?
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.
"Help me be bold."
"Give me the words to speak up."
"Help me proclaim the truth with courage."
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?
Recall the times when you have stayed silent and bring them to confession. Make a plan to go to confession twice this Lenten season to prepare to receive Jesus in a new way on Easter Sunday in celebration of the Resurrection.
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 Ava Lalor, an editor for a Catholic newspaper and online magazine Radiant.
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