STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
HOS 2:16, 17C-18, 21-22
Thus says the LORD:
I will allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.
On that day, says the LORD,
She shall call me “My husband,”
and never again “My baal.”
I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Summertime in high school was a precious period in my life. My brother and I were pretty tight thus leading to quality time at the movies, eating fast food, and of course, ice cream. But something that sticks out in my mind are the car rides. It was in the car that we would have some of the best conversations. But it was also in the car that he would zip down some back road with the windows down, the music blasting, and our voices as loud as we could sing along. It was there that I felt free.
The freedom I experienced didn't occur because we were speeding or because the windows were open or because we were singing with the music blaring. No, the freedom I experienced was due to the fact that I could be unabashedly me in front of and with this man whom I love. I didn't have to put on some front in order to gain his love or to love him. In today's 1st reading, the LORD says that he will lead Israel (His chosen people) into the desert to speak to her heart. He will espouse Israel to Himself so that they may know Him and be known by Him. This reading is oozing with freedom! By God's drawing them into the silence, He is better able to speak to his beloved people and thereby re-establish a relationship of complete and total trust with them. Before this, the Israelites went and worshiped false gods and bowed before idols that kept them in bondage. But only in relationship with the ONE who knows them and loves them for themselves, even in their waywardness, will they find true freedom.
As a society, we search for freedom: what defines you, who defines you, what are people talking about, what clothes are people wearing, money comparisons, house comparisons, etc. We are naturally looking for freedom. We want to be free from the fear that I do not matter and that is why we look for freedom in all the wrong places. Freedom is knowing we are loved and by whom we are loved. Then we are free to be ourselves, to love ourselves, and to love those around us.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
Lord, reveal to me those things that prevent me from knowing your love and living in your freedom.
Lord, when were moments in my life that I felt free? What was it about those moments that caused the sense of freedom in me?
Father, You created me in your image and likeness, you redeemed me in baptism for yourself. Please take me into the desert so that I can better hear your voice and enter into relationship with you.
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"For freedom Christ has set me free."
"Jesus, in your presence, I am free to be me."
"Break my chains and give me a taste of freedom."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
If you were free to love, what would you do differently? ...then do it
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Rev. Sean Grismer.