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).
What is idolatry?
If we think about ancient times we imagine people worshiping some God who isn't the God of Israel. Today, we often here about how people make money their god, or power, or pleasure or wealth. Framed in these two ways, idolatry almost sounds silly.
Sure, we like wealth and all that, but at least on an intellectual level, it sounds dumb to make that your god. Growing up in a monotheistic culture, it seems silly to worship zeus or hades. But today's readings show us that idolatry is something more subtle and more dangerous.
Jeroboam doesn't build two idols and say, "Here is your new God." He builds two idols and says "here is the God you have been worshiping all along. By the way, now he will be much easier to worship!" Throughout Israel's history, the problem with idolatry isn't just worshiping false gods, it's making God into something he isn't. They try to make him controllable. They try to cast him in their own image.
Do we try to make God more controllable with thoughts like "well, God doesn't care if I don't pray this week?" Or perhaps we make God more vengeful or petty by projecting our family experiences on him? We often take the negative voices of self hate in our minds and project them on to God's voice. God is loving, merciful, intense, and surprising.
We need to ask ourselves if the image of God in our minds is the one from scripture and tradition, or one of the many idols of our broken world.
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.
What are some of the ways you have made an idol out of God by casting him in the light of something other than who he is?
Who is God, really, in your life?
How can you allow God to more fully take shape into who he longs to be 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, I trust in you."
"You are my God."
"You are the only God."
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?
Pause at least 3 or 4 times throughout the day to take stock of where your mind is at and how God is speaking to you through the normal occurrences of life. It doesn't have to be long, just a short moment to reflect, to let God speak, and to see if you can hear his voice in some small way.
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 Fr. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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