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 people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Gut-check time. What kind of person are you? Today’s Gospel gives us two options: one who is more of a Pharisee, or one who is more like an apostle.
How often it is that each and every one of us becomes someone who is so devoted to God in our outward actions and appearances but yet is barely connected to him in their heart? If you’re anything like me, it’s seemingly pretty often, and today you are convicted to ask the big question: why?
The first reading today recounts the beautiful story of God creating man. The beauty of the Garden, God’s promise to give us everything we could ever need, and the fact that we are the pinnacle of his creation all ring through the beautiful account of Genesis. The Garden was truly a place where man honored God with their lips and their hearts were close to him.
But we know the rest of the story— sin enters the world as our first parents chose to reject God’s promise. The result is that our hearts become ransomed by our pursuit of pleasure and our desire to be the “gods” of our lives. Time and again, God offers us all of himself, and we find a way to turn our hearts away from him. The problem we face, the same problem the Pharisees faced in the Gospel reading, is the problem of self-reliance. We don’t want to trust God with our hearts and with our lives because we think we can be the masters of our own lives. We know the Law and we know what we are supposed to do and say to appear to be disciples, just like the Pharisees, but there is a fundamental disconnect between our outward actions and our hearts because we don’t want to give God everything.
Today, God is putting each of us to the test— will we trust him not only with the outward actions: half-hearted prayer, going to Mass, attending our youth groups; or will we trust him in the biggest way we can and give him our hearts?
Don't be a Pharisee. Don't simply do the actions you think God wants you to do without also giving him your heart. Honor God with your lips and let your heart rest in him.
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.
How am I trusting God to be my everything?
Is my heart resting in God when I do the outward actions of a disciple?
How can I let my heart rest in God more today?
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 are my all."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Let my heart rest in you alone."
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?
Take time today to think about all of the Christian actions you perform and ask yourself if your heart is resting in God as you do them. If the answer is that you are simply doing actions and not giving God your heart, pick one way you can begin to give God your heart and not just your words or actions.
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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