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).
I had a really cool opportunity this week to have a Bible study with a few of my coworkers on this very Gospel passage, and we all had the same initial reaction - there is so much in this Gospel! For real though, there could be different reflections on many different parts of this Gospel and they could all be profound, but one verse kept sticking out to me all week...
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.
All of the readings today have a similar theme - who we are in the everyday moments shapes who we are in the extraordinary moments. Most of the choices we make in life are seemingly insignificant. Who will it really hurt if I copy my friend's homework instead of finishing it on my own? What does it matter if I do 11 reps at the gym instead of 12? Who cares if I have just one drink? We look at these "small things" as moments that don't really matter, but it is in the "small things" that our character is built. Yes, even making your bed in the morning can build character!
So how does this all relate to that last verse of today's Gospel? Every time we do something good, every time we choose the holy act, we store up goodness in our heart. Every time we are lazy, or selfish, or sin, we displace that good and begin to store up evil. Who we are, our legacy, is defined by what our heart produces. We shouldn't be surprised that someone who always chooses to be selfish and lazy in the small things is selfish and lazy in big matters as well. Likewise, we shouldn't be surprised that someone who chooses the good in the small moments will choose the good even in the most difficult of situations. Holiness is not a surprise, it does not come out of nowhere. Holiness comes from making your bed every morning, from saying thank you every day, from doing all your homework and every rep in the weight room (and from praying obviously).
Clear out the evil from your heart, so when your heart overflows it may speak of only goodness. Be holy in the big moments, but also when you simply make your bed.
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 are some "small" areas in your life that you need to be better in?
How can some of these small opportunities for holiness impact your overall holiness?
What are a couple practical daily things you can do to begin to fill your heart with goodness?
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.
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Fill our hearts Lord."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
Go to confession and make your bed. Clean out all the evil in your heart and do the small things well so that you can fill your heart to overflowing with goodness.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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