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).
A wise man once told me to not be afraid of the Old Testament. Especially with this day’s reading, how right he is! While Genesis and the beginning of Exodus get a lot of attention for their big storylines and drama, we can easily get lost in places like Numbers, Deuteronomy, and the later part of Exodus as it seems like we are just getting a bunch of things explained to us in the most minute of detail interrupted by random events. Take a glance at today’s first reading and it seems like the same story: description, description, description, random event.
But the beauty of all of the Old Testament is that there is always a deeper reality at play than we may first see, even if it seems unimportant. And in today’s first reading we are receiving a vivid foreshadowing of one of the most important things in every Church around the world: the Tabernacle. The Lord commands Moses on how to build a place of dwelling for the Lord. For the Israelites, this place of dwelling, known as the mishkan, was a security, a physical place among them where the Lord would be truly present and with them at all times. Its most important possession was the Ark of the Covenant, the structure holding the original Ten Commandments received by Moses from the Lord.
Fast forward to today: the Tabernacle, present in every Catholic Church, fulfills even this dwelling of the Israelites. For now, we don’t just have the Lord’s spirit within our midst, but the very indwelling and presence, the manifestation and life, of our God in the Eucharist. In every Tabernacle around the world, our God remains and He waits for us. But even this Tabernacle isn’t the permanent and perfect resting place for God.
He wants you to be His Tabernacle. Think about it: whether it’s the mishkan or the Tabernacle present in our churches, each contain the presence of God and are a real signification that God is here and among us. When you then receive Christ in the Eucharist, He is asking you, “Will you be this light for the world? Will you be a sign of me to everyone? Will you carry me forth with you into the world?”
This is the great reality of today’s first reading. The dwelling of the Lord is in our midst always, but in a very real way we have the Tabernacle to signify His True Presence among us. Now, can you be that to a world that so desperately needs it? Today, allow Jesus to radiate through you so that others can be assured of His presence among us. AMDG.
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 has the Lord touched your heart or impacted your life through His presence in the Eucharist?
How has He or is He inviting you to bring His presence into the world through your life?
How will you carry Jesus forth to the world?
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.
"You are the light."
"Radiate through me."
"You are present with 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?
Today, go spend some time with God in a church or chapel. Even if the Eucharist is not exposed and His presence is preserved in the tabernacle, soak in God's love and graces. Empty yourself to Him, give Him all those things that are weighing you down and stressing you out, and let Jesus fill you up with His mercy and grace. After you're all filled up, go out and radiate that love to others. Bear Christ to the world through your life and be a living tabernacle.
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 currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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