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).
Today’s Gospel seems like a violent story about some grapes, but it is really all about God’s mercy and our need for repentance. In this parable, Christ uses the example of a vineyard to teach us about the Kingdom of God.
Quick explanation: the owner and the vineyard symbolizes God and the formation of the nation of Israel, God’s people. God gave men the power to rule His nation, and all He asks is that the people maintain their relationship with Him through their love and obedience. Not too hard, but we all know that all people sin. So, the men of Israel, or the tenants in the parable, turned away from God, but God did not turn away from His people. He sent His servants, the prophets. The servants proclaimed to all people that they were not giving God what He was due (love and prayers- not so hard but we still struggle today!). Did the tenants listen? Nope. They rejected the prophets and treated them with violence and mocking. After sending three servants in the Gospel, or a few hundred years of prophets, God wanted to end this gap between Him and His people that sin had created. So, He sent His Son. We all can guess who that is- Jesus Christ, who was really killed for the sins of the people.
Then Christ changes the tone and calls Himself the “cornerstone” that “the builders rejected.” Jesus was telling all the people listening to Him that He was really going to be killed, but He is the foundation of the Kingdom of God, the Church. The prophets foretold that the messiah would die for the sins of the people (Isaiah 53, Jeremiah 31), and this is Jesus saying “It’s me! I am the Son of God! Listen to me!” He truly is the Son of God who has come to reunite and fulfill the people of God to God Himself, so that they finally may have a perfect relationship with Him through Christ.
Today, we have the new vineyard, the Church. It is the Kingdom of God here and now. Will you listen to Christ? Will you follow the Son of God and serve the Father? Will you listen to the people in your life who share Christ’s message of God’s love? God wants us to be fruitful in the Church, the Kingdom of God. We do this through loving and serving God through prayer and receiving the sacraments, but also through acts of service and spreading the truth of Christ to others. Especially during this season of Lent, turn your heart to God and listen to Christ and the love He proclaims.
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.
Are you more like the tenants or the servants in today's Gospel?
Who shares God's message of love with you? Who are you sharing that message with?
How are you serving the vineyard of God's Kingdom this Lent?
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.
"Christ, the cornerstone."
"You are truly the Son of God."
"Build your Kingdom here."
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?
Share the message of God's love today by telling someone about your Lenten journey thus far, what you are fasting from and why you are fasting during this season.
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 Mary Griffin, a Senior Theology and Catechetics major at Franciscan University of Steubenville.