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 difficult as Lent can sometimes be, it is one of my favorite seasons the Church gives us. It is a time when we read from the Exodus and remember the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt and how they complained, grumbled, made idols out of gold, and even wished to go back to Egypt.
Lent is a time when we are reminded that we are just like the Israelites. I know I complain to God about not having everything I want, constantly wishing for the next thing or complaining about how things haven’t gone the I thought they should. We probably don’t make physical idols out of gold, but our idols are our loves that draw us away from God: school, work, money, relationships, etc.
How often do you plan time (especially during Lent) to go to adoration or simply pray in your room, but then “something comes up” that is more pressing? Have you ever caught yourself in those moments? I have planned to go to adoration, but then I took too long to get ready and I don’t have time before the next event. Or my favorite excuse to use: I’m too tired to go to pray, so I’m going to go home and watch Netflix.
That is me putting my love of being social or vegging out on the couch above my love of God.
In our first reading we see God’s anger towards the Israelites for turning their heads away from Him and being “stiff-necked” and not turning back to Him. Moses talks God down from having His wrath “blaze up against them and consume them.”
It’s sometimes hard for me to read the Old Testament because of how angry God gets at His people, especially when I hear about the Merciful God of the New Testament. But our God is both a just and merciful God, which can be hard to conceptualize. In today’s Gospel, Jesus says “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses.” The roles have kind of reversed from the first reading to the Gospel.
The readings today (and really throughout Lent) are a good check-in on how we are doing with our own journey with God. Am I too stiff-necked and have turned away from God and all He has done for me? Have I forgotten all the marvelous things He has done for me in my life?
We are now only two weeks away from Holy Thursday. Let us take this time and really dedicate the rest of Lent to remembering what God has done for us; saving us from slavery to sin as he saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Let us not wish to go back to slavery of sin, but rather take this time to repent of our grumbling so we can better rejoice during the Easter season.
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 often do you let the things of your life get in the way of prayer and your relationship with God? How has this Lenten season helped you focus more on daily time spent with God?
What are you being "stiff-necked" about? What is keeping you from remembering all that God has done for you to show you His love?
What "grumbling" do you need to repent of? How can you continue to grow in your appreciation of God's mercy and avoidance of sin, especially leading up to Easter?
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.
"Have mercy on me."
"Help me see who you are."
"I need you, 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?
Do an examination of conscience today. Take one to prayer (there are many versions online), and use it to see where you need God's help and mercy in your life. Use this time in prayer to help you grow in your appreciation for God's mercy and to avoid sin and temptation.
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 Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Denver, CO.
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