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).
There are two things that strike me about today's Gospel. The first is that "every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste." The second is about how a demon will come back and make His home in a clean house that is unguarded. Let's look quickly at both.
First, a kingdom divided cannot stand. When Christians fight with Christians, what's the result? When we work against each other, how are we advancing the Kingdom? Jesus says this in response to the people who think He's driving out demons in the name of Satan. His response is almost sarcastic - really it's a question of logic. Basically He says, "If I was Satan, why would I be driving my fellow demons out of human beings?" Or "Isn't it in my best interest to leave them there if my goal is to bring you all to Hell with me?"
I can imagine the crowd feeling a little out of sorts, maybe thinking, "Um, yeah - I guess that doesn't really make sense." This is true when the Lord is asking us to do something hard for Him, to suffer a great cross, or be uncomfortable. These are all for our salvation, and we often reply, "But don't you love me? Why are you asking me to do this thing that seems like you've abandoned me?"
The Father hasn't abandoned us though. He won't ask us to do things that aren't going to bring about our salvation because our salvation is His ultimate goal.
The second item from today's Gospel is a warning for us all and a directive about guarding our hearts and souls. When we have cast away sin and Satan, we need to be careful to guard ourselves. To stay away from the 'near occasion of sin' because we'll believe we're "strong enough to withstand the temptation" when really we're primed for falling right back into old habits.
Jesus is calling us to be on guard. He's telling us we'll need to rely on Him even more to keep this sin out of our lives.
So the lessons from today are to trust that He is doing a good work in you, and rely on Him even more today than you did yesterday.
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.
Where have you assumed you were "good because you confessed that sin ages ago"?
Are you vigilant with what you allow to enter into your heart?
How have you doubted the good that the Lord was doing in your life.
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.
"Clean my hear, O Lord."
"Guard my heart, O Lord."
"Bring me closer to you."
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?
Go to confession sometime soon to clean out your house.
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 Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evangelization consultant living in North Carolina.
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.