Friday of the First Week of Lent
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).
Today’s first reading, from the prophet Ezekiel, is a powerful reminder of an essential piece of our relationship with the Lord- repentance.
The Lord invites us into a relationship, but to remain in that relationship requires work on our part. We all know that we cannot live a life of sin and expect to be in good and right relationship with God; we are called to be holy and blameless in his sight! The work of repentance is something that can only be done by the work of grace in our lives.
So what is repentance? The word repentance comes from the Greek word “metanoia” which essentially means an about face, or a turning back to God. When we think of repentance, we should always think of it as a movement of our heart and lives to turn back to the Lord. Ezekiel reminds us of this today with the first words of scripture- “If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed…he shall surely live, he shall not die.” Today we are reminded that the Lord desires us to live with him forever and to not die as a result of our sin. This is the great work of repentance! In this season of Lent we are especially sensitive to repentance- the Gospel reading on the first Sunday of Lent contains Jesus’ words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
So how do we repent? Is it simply by saying we’re sorry to God in prayer? Or is it something deeper? Repentance is more than just noticing that we have sinned and done wrong. Repentance is a turning away from sin and turning towards God; both dimensions are required. During this season of Lent we are called to repentance through our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Everything we have given up or taken on during this season should move us towards this great work of repentance- our turning away from sin and towards God.
Today, let your meditation be guided by the Holy Spirit and let yourself not only say no to sin, but say yes to God. Let today be an opportunity not for sin and death, but repentance and life.
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 repentance mean to you?
How can your Lenten fast lead you to repentance this season?
Where else in your life might God be calling you to repentance? How can you begin the process of turning back to God in that area?
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.
"Holy Spirit, help me listen to you."
"I love you, Lord."
"Teach me to turn to 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?
Take time to pray today about how you can repent of your sin and turn to God. Schedule time to do a good examination of conscience and get to Confession this 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 Adam Smyth, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.