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).
In the reading, Jesus says that the one who does God’s will is building his house on rock and will be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. He also says that the one who does not do God’s will is building his house on sand and will not be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Doing and not doing God’s will may sometimes look similar externally, but they are very different internally.
The foundation of these “houses” are our hearts. When we act without a good and pure intention of the heart, our actions may look good and even form a big and beautiful house, but there will be no strong faith, hope, and love to uphold the house during the storms.
This makes me think of the story of the three little pigs. It was much quicker and easier for the pigs to build houses out of straw or sticks rather than bricks, but we all know which house stood the blows of the big bad wolf. Of course the pigs didn’t know if or when the big bad wolf would come, but the one was prepared while the other two were not.
None of us know when the rain, floods, and wind will come, how strong they’ll be, or how long they’ll last, but shouldn’t we be prepared?
Over the last few years, I’ve taken a lot of pride in being able to say that I pray the rosary every day, but it was only recently that I realized I could barely claim that I had been “praying” it so regularly. I had a long commute to and from work, pre-quarantine, and reaching for my rosary beads hanging from the rearview mirror was often a mindless action after starting up the car. It’s not bad or wrong to pray the rosary while driving, but I had turned it into a quick, easy, convenient, and often mindless way to pass the time.
Once I stopped driving to work, I stopped praying the rosary regularly too. It took a lot to motivate myself to sit and focus on the mysteries and not just zip through the prayers and check off all the beads. This quarantine was the storm that tested the part of my “house” that was a devotion to the rosary; it collapsed on the sand, blew down the straw and sticks with ease.
Much of the rest of my “house” has survived that storm, but after all of the extravagant additions I threw on got blown away, I came to see that my house really wasn’t as big and beautiful as I thought it was.
What I’m learning is that the foundation is most important, and everything will build from there. We must constantly check our hearts for underlying motives or pure intentions. It takes more time and effort, to say the least, but remember that it’s between Jesus saying to you, “I never knew you” or “Welcome home”. Your choice.
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 does the foundation of your "house" look like? How rooted are you in faith, hope, and love?
What motivates your choices and prayer life? Are the your intentions of your heart pure?
If you were to meet Jesus face-to-face today, what would you say to him? What do you think he would say to you, "welcome home" or "I never knew you"?
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.
"Purify my heart."
"Teach me to love and follow you."
"Praise to you, Lord."
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?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
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.