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).
Under God’s loving guidance and protection, Moses led the Israelites out of slavery. As they traveled through the desert towards the promised land, they were hungry, so God gave them plenty of manna to eat. Despite all of this, the Israelites complained about having to walk through the desert and that they were sick of the manna and wanted better food to eat.
Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? God is saving them from generations of slavery and they are complaining about the journey and the type of food they have to eat- as if they’d rather go back to Egypt and be slaves.
Try putting yourself in that passage. Do you remember a time when you felt so enslaved by a sin but God lovingly led you on a journey out of that bondage? It felt hard at times, didn’t it? Did you ever have a fleeting thought that it is more work than it’s worth, or that it would be much more pleasurable to go back to your old way of life?
Like the Israelites, entertaining thoughts of ingratitude can be a quick spiral that leads to sin. Fortunately, just as those who in the first reading today looked at the bronze serpent and lived, we also have a way to be saved from the death we deserve. Of course, our way is much better than a saraph mounted on a pole; our way is a living, breathing, loving person- Jesus Christ.
Ingratitude does nothing good and leads to nothing good. Fight ingratitude, fight sin, with gratitude. The best way to practice gratitude is to leave yourself out of it; be grateful of the person, place, or thing because of who or what it is, in and of itself. For example, don’t just be grateful that you get to drink water, be grateful for what water is and that it exists. As we practice gratitude in ways that are independent of ourselves, we learn to become free to love selflessly, just as the Lord loves selflessly.
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 do I complain about the process of building a relationship with God?
In what ways do I take God's providing for me, or his gift of eternal salvation, for granted?
How is God calling me to be more grateful for the things, big and small, in my 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.
"I trust in your plan."
"Thank you for loving me."
"Help me love selflessly."
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?
Be specifically grateful for five things in your life today, however big or small, so that you can focus less on yourself and more on the Lord.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.
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