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).
Have you ever been afraid or down? Maybe there are certain hardships or struggles you are currently enduring, consistently questioning throughout, “Lord, why is this happening? What in the world do you want here?” I feel you, and so does Scripture. In today’s first reading, God comforts and reminds us that even in the midst of uncertainty and confusion on our part, He is at work. Even when we doubt or waver, He never does.
In 1 Kings today we are introduced to the famous prophet Elijah for the first time in Scripture. Just before this reading, God had promised a drought, which sure enough, confirmed by the first sentence of this reading, came. In need of sustenance, God tells Elijah to go to a place called Zarephath and find a widow there who will provide for him. Zarephath was a tiny and poor part of the Gentile city of Sidon. Remember, at this time, the Israelites were not too fond of the Gentiles, that is, anyone who was not Jewish. As well, a widow today has a much different meaning than in this time period; a widow during the time of this reading would have been regarded as one of the poorest of the poor in society. So, to recap, God says He is going to provide for Elijah and sends him to the poorest town in a hated city to be cared for by a woman who had little to nothing to her name. And the widow herself confirms she has nothing to provide him with. Not only that, but also she and her son are so malnourished and poor that they are likely going to die from starvation within days!
And so, faced with incredible trial, suffering, and seeming lack of consolation in the situation, how does Elijah respond to the woman: Do not be afraid. Sure enough, God miraculously turns what little they have into enough to sustain all of them in abundance.
What is the moral here? The truest and most fulfilling blessings of God come to those who are unafraid to trust in Him, no matter the circumstances. Indeed, it is precisely when we are at our lowest, poorest, emptiest, that God is waiting, as He unceasingly is, to remind us that He alone is what can satisfy us. The mysterious and awesome plans of God shatter every expectation we could possibly have for our lives, so much so that even in the midst of the greatest trials and suffering, we can trust with clear eyes and full hearts that God is with us calling us closer and closer to Himself.
What is it today you are struggling with? Does it seem like God is far off? He is not. He is close by, extending His hand, and ready to reveal His love and fullness to you. No matter the struggle, no matter how hard it is, trust in God today. Without fail, He always provides. AMDG.
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 are you struggling to trust in God right now?
In what ways has God provided for you before- even the seemingly impossible?
What is the one thing you need to ask for God to help you with today?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"You always provide for me."
"Thank you for loving me."
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 in prayer to offer up to the Lord the biggest petition you have- be bold and be specific. Write down your prayer and offer it up to God every day 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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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. "
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