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).
At the heart of today’s reading is the call to deeper friendship with God despite our own hardness of heart at times.
In our readings, we have been traveling with the Israelites through the desert after they were called out of sin and slavery in Egypt. Yesterday’s reading revealed to us that even though God has provided miracle after miracle to show the Israelites His providence, they continued to not trust in Him by turning back to their old ways and worshiping the golden calf.
Moses said it perfectly: “this is indeed a stiff-necked people.” I have had the displeasure of many stiff-necks in my life due to wrong form in exercise, poor sleeping arrangements, and even the occasional rock concert when I was younger. A stiff-neck limits your ability to freely look around and keeps your head locked in one place, only facing forward. I’m sure this is what Moses meant when he called the Israelites stiff-necked people – their heads are locked in one place, and even though God is calling them by name, they do not want to look up. Rather, they keep their face forward, not seeing the Face of He who is calling them.
On the other hand, we have Moses who “the LORD used to speak to face to face, as one man speaks to another.” This intimate friendship that Moses had with God allowed him to intercede on behalf of Israel. God had made known to them that he would no longer remain in their company, as they had proven to be stiff-necked and hard of heart, not open to receiving this intimate friendship. Moses pleads for forgiveness and mercy, and begs God to stay with them along the journey.
I can relate to the Israelites. There are times in my life where I am stiff-necked with God. I want things to go a certain way in my life: I want to go to the perfect college, I want to get the dream job, I want to have the best of friends, I want there to be no problems in my family, I want the perfect relationship with no arguments or miscommunications, I want more money, time, and energy. When things don’t go my way, the temptation is to keep my head locked in one place and only face forward rather than looking up to God and seeing Him face to face. I want to speak to God face to face, I want to have that intimate friendship with God; I want to be able to tell Him every fear and struggle and rejoice with Him for every blessing and victory!
The secret that we often forget is that we have to come to God in our brokenness. Moses did not sit around waiting for God to tell him how to solve the problems of Israel, but rather he approached God in the tent of meetings and spoke to Him as one man speaks to another. He brought his problems and his struggles to God and spoke to Him from the heart.
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.
In what ways in your life have you become stiff-necked, having trouble looking up to truly see God and what He is doing in your life?
What areas of your life feel broken, damaged, or in trouble? How can you turn those over to the Lord, coming to Him in your brokenness?
How is God calling you deeper into intimacy in relationship with Him? Maybe it's more honesty and vulnerability in prayer; maybe it's healing He wants to do in your life; maybe it's something new He wants to teach you. What way do you think He is working to bring you deeper?
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.
"Speak to my heart, Lord."
"My eyes are on You."
"I give it all to 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?
Find a time today - or schedule one for later this week - to be in front of Jesus in the Eucharist. Whether it's in Adoration, Mass, or just being in your Church and looking at Him in the Tabernacle, sit in prayer with Him and give Him everything, including your brokenness.
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 Mike Monette, a high school theology teacher in Los Angeles, CA.