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).
“There is no place for selfishness—and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.” -St. John Paul II
I was reminded of this quote as I read the first reading today. I think we often associate the season of Lent with the great demands it asks of us. When we think of Lent, we automatically think of all the Fridays where we won’t be able to have a big, juicy steak and all the sweets or social media time or episodes on Netflix we will have to go without. Rarely, do we think of Lent as a season for love because very rarely do we associate obedience with love.
Lent is a time to “set things right” as we read in the first reading today. It contains a whole string of commands for us, yet ends with the promise that if we are willing and obey, then we will eat the good things of the land. Our sacrifices and obedience are not in vain, but when offered to God, they become a sign of our love for the Lord and a step closer to our heavenly goal.
So often I think we postpone changing our bad and sinful behaviors because we think there is “plenty of time.” We put off doing the work and what it takes to change because we know that being a true follower of Christ makes great demands of us. We might be afraid of those demands because we are too comfortable with our sin or too selfish or too lazy.
Our faith makes great demands of us. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice, especially during this Lenten season. Lent is the time to reorient our hearts back towards Christ, towards the one who shows true love and obedience to the point of dying on the cross. Now is the time to make a change. Now is the time to take a stand and turn away from sin.
What are you waiting for?
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.
Have you been afraid to respond to the demands that love makes? How has this affected your relationship with God and the people in your life?
What is God calling you to do NOW, that you keep trying to put off until later? Why do you keep trying to put it off?
How can you love better this Lent?
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.
"Do not be afraid."
"Love requires sacrifice."
"Now is the time."
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?
Take some time to make a list of the changes you need to make in your life - the changes that love is demanding of you - and write them down. Make a plan to start making these changes today!
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 Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.