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).
I sit here in a parish cell on the first day of a week-long mission trip serving the needy, the poor, and the hungry of Piura, Peru. I have been preparing for the joy and excitement of going on this mission trip for months, envisioning the faces of joy after a day of building a house or maybe hugging the poorest of the poor as they receive clothes for the first time in months.
There is something very joyful and rewarding about serving other people, but when I stop and am honest with myself I find that I desire the glory of it all more than I desire to give the glory to God. Pause and think for a moment: when you do good deeds, are you doing them because you know you get a nice ego boost or do you truly do them for the Lord?
As the assignments were posted for the day I did not get house building or clothes delivery, I got yard work at the orphanage with three others, two of whom were sick. It was difficult to feel like I was doing something important. At certain moments, I was angry that others were experiencing the joy and tear-filled eyes of those being served while I was filling in potholes with dirt. As the day wore on, I caught a quiet whisper in my heart which said: “the work that goes unnoticed is the work that is forming your heart.” In that moment, I realized I was doing it all wrong.
I am not here to fill up my own praise bucket, I am here to fill up these holes with dirt because the girls at this orphanage need it. Once I was able to move past my own selfish desires for acknowledgment and praise, I was able to enter into the work and into the people in a much more personal and powerful way.
Today’s reading are all about preparation - specifically about the preparation of our hearts for when Christ comes again - but a line at the very end of the first reading really struck me deep today. “You, O Lord, are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands.” I realized two things: first, that even when you do good works it’s because our Father in heaven gave you the abilities to do the good works in the first place. Second, that even in the midst of serving, God is still working on my heart.
He is such a good Father that even when my clay-like-heart begins to harden, He waters it so that I can still be molded. How are you letting God mold you today?
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 are you letting God mold you today? How have you already seen His handiwork in your life?
In what ways do you let your heart become hardened to what God is truly doing? How can you allow His water to soften you?
What are some good deeds you've felt called to do? How can you be sure you are always doing those things for the right reasons?
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 the Potter."
"I am the clay."
"Mold my heart, 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?
As Advent begins today, make a concrete promise to the ways that you will allow God to mold your heart in real ways. What will you give up, what prayers will you add, and what else will you do to let God truly be the potter in your life and you be the clay?
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 Mike Monette.