Step #1: Lectio / Read
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).
We have a God of second chances. That is what St. Paul is telling us in the second reading this Sunday. What a beautiful gift that God gives us.
We know of St. Paul, the man who was persecuting Christians. He used to lie, say he was a Christian to get into their circle, then betray them and have them killed. Can you imagine what it was like for him to then come back as a Christian? To repent and to ask for forgiveness and acceptance?
But he did it. He had the courage to admit that he was wrong and to turn his life totally and completely around. And when he did, he lead thousands to Christianity. St. Paul changed the world, because he had the strength and the courage to follow Christ.
St. Paul freely admits that he was wrong (way wrong). But he doesn’t dwell on it. He moves forward to complete the mission that God gave him to spread the Gospel. He knows he is unworthy, human and full of mistakes, but gives God the glory for all that he as done.
To be honest, I don’t know that I could have done what St. Paul did. I have a terrible tendency that when i do something wrong, I harp on it, over think it and never move on from it. (I still feel guilty about not listening to my teacher and writing from the dictionary in second grade).
But that is not what God wants. God, does not want us to dwell in our sin, to become paralyzed from it. No, our God wants us to move on and to move forward with Him through experiencing His forgiveness and mercy.
Jesus gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we could go and receive His forgiveness. Have you ever wondered why we must speak our sins out loud to the priest? It is because the verbalization of sins helps us to acknowledge them and move forward. Why does the priest need to speak absolution when we receive God’s forgiveness? Because hearing those words helps us to understand we truly are forgiven.
Jesus came to save sinners, what a beautiful thing that we have a God who is waiting to give us His limitless love and unending mercy. We have infinite chances for forgiveness, we just need to ask for it.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart.
Think about the last few days. What disappointments or failures have you held on to? Have a conversation with God about them.
What is preventing you from moving forward? How can you move forward with God?
What is keeping you from accepting God's forgiveness? Have you recently asked for His forgiveness?
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.
"Christ strengthens me."
"We have a God of infinite chances."
"I am defined by God's love for 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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, when you make a mistake, offer it up to God and ask Him for you can come to a better understanding of His love and forgiveness.
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, Jr. High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.