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 remember when I was a camp counselor for a summer camp we’d often tell the campers the story of the big shaggy dog. The dog was so big and so shaggy. He loved to run and he loved people. This big shaggy dog was one of the best dogs you’d ever meet – and the shaggiest! People would walk up to him and he would give them doggy kisses. He would roll over and let them pet him. He could sit and roll over. This big shaggy dog would even sit on his back legs and jump up on command. He was such a big, shaggy, loveable dog. As a matter of fact, wherever he went, people were amazed at how shaggy he was. Once he went up to a boy and the boy could not believe how shaggy the dog was. He was the shaggiest dog the boy ever did see. Another time, the big shaggy dog went up to a little girl and the girl was flabbergasted at how shaggy the dog was. In her whole 8 years of life, she had never ever seen a dog so shaggy! This other time, the dog went up to an elderly man and the man exclaimed, “I can’t believe how shaggy this big, shaggy dog is! I am 92 years old and I have never seen a dog this shaggy!” There was another time when the big, shaggy dog approached a nurse and the nurse was stunned. She had never seen a dog so shaggy as this big shaggy dog!
The story had no point. It was simply used to kill time when the schedule at camp had gone awry.
In the story we read in the first reading today, the opposite is true. The writer of Genesis is not including useless detail to weary the reader, but to emphasize, most emphatically, the abundant mercy of God. St. Faustina reminds us that all the sins of the whole human race for all of human history are like one single drop of water in the immense ocean of Our Father’s mercy. Our God will scale any wall, break through any barrier, He is always, always, always, delighted to shower us with his mercy. Our God is happy to forgive. Now that’s a good story.
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.
God loves us so much that His mercy is endless. How do you encounter His love and mercy every day?
What is your story with God? How did you encounter Him?
Where do you need God's mercy in your life?
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.
"God's mercy is endless."
"Lord I need you."
"Jesus, you gave me a good story."
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?
What's your story God? How does your life flow from God's story? Check out this short video, (it is 5 minutes) and pray with your story and God's story.
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 Fr. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.