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).
The story of Joseph and his brothers, as you likely remember, is a crazy one. The moment that we see today is when Jacob, their father, is dying, and the brothers are worried.
If you don't remember the story, their worry might be confusing so let's do a refresher. Jacob has 12 sons, one of them being Joseph, who begins to have dreams. These dreams show him being powerful and a great ruler, even over his brothers. His brothers don't love this, so they decide to kill Joseph. Instead of killing him, though, they sell him. He is taken to Egypt, is a slave there, and eventually (through some more dreams and some keen spiritual insight) works his way up to being Pharaoh's trusted advisor and eventually a powerful ruler in Egypt. His brothers come to him for help, they don't recognize him, and eventually they end up in Egypt with their father.
Again, it's a wild story. Here, Jacob their father dies and the brothers are worried that maybe Joseph was being merciful to them because of their dad but will now kill him.
The beautiful moment in today's 1st Reading is when the brothers ask Joseph for forgiveness and he breaks into tears. Why? Because Joseph is profoundly convinced that God's will was constantly at work. Even though his brothers wanted to kill him and eventually sold him into slavery in Egypt, he is completely content and able to forgive them because he believes and understands that somehow, even in this horrible thing, God was at work in bringing about his good.
Do you and I believe that? Even in the midst of tragedy, trial, and strife, do we believe that God is ceaselessly at work bringing about our good?
God never wills something like what Joseph's brothers did to him. That was horrible. In the same way, God never willed the pain you or your family are going through - betrayal, loss, suffering, sickness, death - but can, in the same way, bring about your good even through tragedy. Are we willing to say, like Joseph, that we will trust God and believe that he can even bring about our good through this thing?
It won't remove the suffering we have to experience, but our capacity to find joy and hope in the midst of the suffering and come out the other side with a new perspective on God's will can be radically transformed when we adopt this new attitude.
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.
Where have you seen God's will work itself out in your life even if it didn't make sense in the moment?
How are you working to trust God in the midst of the trials you face right now?
Have you given to God the pains and trails you are facing and asked him to be present in them?
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.
"Your will is good."
"You are ceaselessly at work."
"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?
Do something today that you enjoy which allows you to simply relax! Whatever it is, make it truly relaxing – turn off distractions, music, podcasts, Netflix – and just let yourself be. When we are seeking to follow God's will, sometimes we just need to step back and breath, allowing ourselves the perspective to see what God is doing.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.