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).
The Bible is full of many beautiful parables, poetic mythology, and even epic fiction stories that remind us of God’s goodness or mercy in some eloquent and occasionally abstract ways.
This is not one of those passages.
What Christ provides us in today’s gospel cannot be simply listened to. It calls for action; begs for a response. We are told what the consequences of inaction are: “you have already received your consolation”, “you shall hunger”, “you shall mourn and weep”, and “you shall be akin with false prophets”.
Because we must respond, we can often be tempted to respond with an excuse: “I’m not rich, I’m not full, and not all men speak well of me”. Though this may ease our conscience, what if we dug a little deeper?
Though I may not have a lot of money, do I work to be comfortable? Do I buy things that I don’t need? Do I have to buy the nicest version of something?
Though I may not have the fullest life, do I let myself be saturated by comfort? Do I avoid fasting? Do I ever intentionally exercise self restraint?
Though all men don’t speak well of me, do I put in effort to try and make them? Do I let my actions be dictated by what others think of me? Do I ever withhold the truth or what I really think because it might temporarily upset someone?
Today we are invited to take practical and real steps towards conversion, and not simply because they are “bad actions”. Rather, we are invited to act this way because of the fruits it brings about in our lives: the kingdom of God, satisfaction, true laughter and joy in this life, and a great reward in the next.
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 excuses am I making in my prayer and in my relationship with God?
How can I dig a little deeper? What practical and real steps am I taking towards conversion?
What fruits have my good actions brought about?
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.
"Your reward will be great in heaven."
"Blessed are you . . ."
"Rejoice and leap for joy."
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?
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this action step and a simple lock screen or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
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 Cody Schurter, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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.