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 can seem a little daunting, or even a little boring. It's just a list of names that goes on and on and on. Why would Matthew introduce introduce our savior in this way?
Well today as we are reading it, those names might not be very important or recognizable to us,(even though they should be). It is here that we see Jesus's direct lineage, all the way back to Abraham. This was how the Jewish people identified themselves. The more you could trace your history, they more they paid attention to you, the more credibility you had. While it serves an important notice for the Jewish people to pay attention, it should also do that for us.
Here, Matthew breaks Jesus's lineage into three parts: David, Babylon and then to Jesus Christ.
For David, Israel's greatest king, the story begins with Abraham, the father of the nation. It travels to David to emphasize not only Jesus's kingship but also Israel's glory and power. The time of David would be seen as some of the best in history.
Matthew then goes into the Babylonian exile, some of the more painful Jewish history. This story tells of the nation's struggles and ultimately disaster.
Matthew ends the lineage with Jesus Christ, who liberated not just the Jewish people but all of humanity. He turned tragedy into triumph and still reigns today.
How does this relate to us? This is our own story too.
From Abraham to David, we learn of our own greatness. The greatness that we are all called to live as we are made in God's own image. God wants us to be great. But here, we also see how easy it is to fall into sin. We have our own shortcomings and when we give into them we turn away from God. This is the story of Babylon, one of one of many examples of us falling into sin. But that's where Jesus comes in. Jesus is how we can redeem our greatness. Our story does not end in tragedy, because God loves us so much that He sent His only son to save us from our sin. By His death and resurrection we are restored to God.
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 well do you know the story of salvation? How does the story relate to you?
Where have you tried for greatness and fallen into sin?
Where do you need Jesus in your life?
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 is my savior."
"Lord I need you."
"Jesus I trust in 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?
What is your story with God? Write it down. How has Jesus come into your life to save you from your sin. How has He changed your life?
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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.