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).
This Gospel passage is quite possibly the most familiar to us of all passages in Scripture. Jesus' example here of the Prodigal Son is often reflected on, and for good reason–there is so much that God says to us through the words of this passage. As I was reflecting on the readings, there was a part of me that was drawn to choose a different reading because this Gospel so well known; but I can't resist some good prayer with the Prodigal Son.
The story of the Prodigal Son, at its core, is the story of a father (the Father) rejoicing in the returning home of his son. At its core, this story is the story of the father who forgives, forgets, and moves forward in joy and hope because what was dead in sin is now alive again.
As we look at our lives, there are ways that each of us are each character in this story. We all sin and need redemption at times, and at other times we all struggle with scrupulosity, jealousy, and frustration at what others receive even if they did not deserve it.
In each of these places of our hearts, the story of this parable is the story of your life and of mine–we are all in need of salvation, and we have a Father who welcomes us home. God longs to breath new life into the dry bones of your life and min, to restore to health the parts of us that are sick, and to welcome us home from all of the places we've wandered. As you and I sit and pray on this Saturday, finishing the second full week of lent and now less than one month from Easter, are we allowing the Lord to offer us the new life that he is desperately waiting to give?
At each moment, even in the depths of your sin and of mine, our Father in heaven has the robe and ring and fatted calf ready to celebrate our return. He is ready right now to bring new life into your life and mine. There's nothing to wait for. Right here, in this moment, God offers you the chance to turn your heart to him and experience the celebration he has prepared for the sinner who returns home.
Will you let him bring you to new life?
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.
What areas of your life are in need of a conversion, a return home, like the younger son?
Where do you relate to the older son, in need of turning your eyes away from comparison or jealousy and back to the loving gaze of the Father?
How is God's voice longing to speak life into your circumstance today? Talk to him about the areas of your life where you want to invite him, and give him permission to move in powerful ways there!
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 bring new life."
"You are the hope of new life."
"Your love is enough."
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?
If you haven't had a chance to yet this Lent, get to confession. If you can't today, make a plan to go in the next week. Be intentional about receiving God's forgiveness and mercy in that place where he so desperately longs to welcome you home.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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