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).
As I write this post, the internet is losing its mind of the Met Gala this year. Because in our society it’s likely that when you read this post in two weeks society will have moved on, let me remind you. The Met Gala celebrates a new exhibit at the Met in New York each year. The theme of this year’s exhibit and gala was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. There’s many people that are much smarter than I am debating about whether that was appropriate or sacrilegious. That’s not what I want to reflect on. What struck me this year about the gala (and every year) is its opulence. It is over the top. It is an excuse for people to wear more gold, more jewels, or to show off their bodies more and for everyone to party harder. It is a modern day example of today’s first reading. (If you have never heard of the Met Gala instead picture the capital in the hunger games.)
Our first reading is all about wealth and opulence and glamour. There’s so many things in this passage that we are all striving for. However, this reading is not just about comfort, but it is about an over indulgence in all the worldly comforts.
Yet, these pleasures don’t bring the people of the first reading into greater happiness. It instead leads to their despair. The reading says, “Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire.”
All they had striven for was gone. They had turned their back on the righteous one. James is very clear; they have abandoned Jesus in search of worldly possessions.
How often do we do this? Are you more concerned about your wealth here than being in Heaven with our Lord? Where are you putting not just your money, but your time and your energy? Are you showing God that He is important or are you just trying to do enough to get by?
Wealth and riches and power is tempting. They look so good to us. They look comfortable and easy. It is not easy to follow the Lord and we might not always understand the value in it. But there is so much more waiting for us with Jesus.
“The world calls you to comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” -Pope Benedict XVI
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 comfort are you searching for? Where is Christ in your search?
How much of your time and energy is spent on growing in holiness, on growing closer to Christ? How much is spent on seeking comfort?
Are you striving for greatness? What is holding you back?
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.
"Help me to seek You."
"I need You."
"I love 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?
Give up some kind of comfort today. Sacrifice some luxury as a way of putting Christ before comfort, complacency, or opulence. Let your heart focus on Jesus today and put Him first in all things.
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, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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