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).
As someone who struggles with follow through, today’s Gospel reading hit me hard.
Even though my day job is a writer and editor, I very much struggle with procrastination and deadlines. It is often only under the wire that I can find the motivation to write. (I say this as my reflection for this blog is far past its due date).
I organized a letter writing campaign a few months ago, but totally forgot to sit down a write my pen pal a letter.
My boyfriend still has an empty picture frame on his desk from Valentine’s Day. I gave him the frame with the promise to print the picture when I had time. It is now almost October.
My intentions are almost always good, I truly do want to meet deadlines, and I want to bring joy by writing a letter or giving a gift. But I always end up falling short, and in turn, I leave other people hanging.
In today’s Gospel the first son had no intention of following through with what his father asked of him. But he later changed his mind and did what his father willed.
The second son had every intention of following his father’s will but did not follow through. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was disobedience. Or maybe, like me, he simple struggled to do the things he said he was going to do.
But, as the Gospel says, it was the first son who did the father’s will.
Now, my example may not be totally comparable to the situation of tax collectors and prostitutes. I am not committing mortal sin in forgetting to mail a letter - I am not intending to sin and then changing my mind. But there still is a huge lesson here on follow through: even with the best of intentions, the result that will bring holiness is following through. The result that will end in doing the father’s will is not the one who only intends to do the father’s will, but the one who at the end of the day actually does the father’s will.
So, think about that this week. How can you follow through and do what the father is asking of you? How can you follow through and do what your state in life and your vocation and your loved ones ask of you?
It is those things that will lead you to Heaven and to holiness.
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.
When is a time you did not follow through?
Which son in the gospel do you relate to more?
How can you follow through and do what the father is asking of you? How can you follow through and do what your state in life and your vocation and your loved ones ask of 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.
"Help me follow through."
"I want to do your will."
"Jesus I trust in you."
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?
What have you been procrastinating on? Make a commitment to do it before the end of the week.
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 Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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.