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).
“My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”
These words of the father to the eldest son in the parable of the prodigal son struck me in a new way as I was praying with today’s Gospel. I can imagine God the Father speaking such words to me, and I am moved by the immensity of such a statement.
I’ve been walking my own personal journey with God for many years now. At moments, I feel as if I am at the heights of spirituality and love for the Lord. At other times, I find my prayer and this journey feeling dry and mundane, typically due to the fact that I have too easily forgotten the constant presence of the Lord in my life who speaks to me those words: “You are here with me always.” When I lose the awareness of the Lord who is continually standing and walking beside me, I begin to lose sight of who I am and, more importantly, whose I am. In this season of Lent, the Lord calls out to us in the midst of the desert, and His desire is for us to know that He is walking with us through the desert. He is still there even when it may feel dry and mundane. When we continue to dwell in the Lord, our hearts become more deeply conformed to His own Sacred Heart.
What a gift it is to dwell with the Lord. And yet even beyond that, the Lord has an inheritance for us bigger and greater than our wildest imaginations: “Everything I have is yours.” Everything good belongs to and comes from the Lord; all is gift. When we bring ourselves to humbly acknowledge that fact, we can find the freedom the Lord offers us and the invitation to fullness of life in eternity. The Lord desires to give us something even greater than the nicest car or the biggest house or the most priceless antique. He desires to give us eternal life. As we continue to fast through the final weeks of Lent, may it bring us to desire the Lord in his fullness and glory at Easter that much more.
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.
Are you aware of God's presence in every moment of your life? In what times do you do this well and in what times do you do this poorly?
What are some things that you put in front of your true inheritance? What are some things that you put before everything God has that He wants to give to you?
How does this whole story change for you if you take the role of the elder son? Can you see yourself in his shoes at all?
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.
"I am your beloved son/daughter, Lord."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Come Holy Spirit."
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?
Remember your inheritance. Remember what God is giving to you. And don't let other, lesser goods get in the way. Take some time throughout your day today and try to recognize God's presence in those moments, as average or mundane as they may seem.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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