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).
A couple of years ago I was living in an orphanage in El Salvador. One day I was playing basketball with the teenage boys in my priest clothes. Now El Salvador is like 120 degrees and humid everyday! So after playing basketball for about 30 minutes I was sweating profusely. I was drenched in sweat and smelled!
As I got off the court my 3 year old goddaughter Wendy started running over to me with her hands out shouting, 'Abrázame' which means 'hug me.' I looked her and in my broken Spanish said, 'no!'
Wendy just kept her arms out asking again for a hug. Yet I told Wendy that she doesn't want to hug me because I am gross. I told her that I was covered in sweat and smelled. Yet she kept reaching out so I picked her up but I kept my arms straight out keeping her at a distance and her legs dangled in the air. She kept reaching towards me for the hug, but again I told her how gross and sweaty I was and that she didn't want to touch me. Yet she kept reaching so I brought her close and she hugged me. She was then laughing while touching my sweaty face and playing with my sweaty hair making different hairstyles as if it was a game. Wendy didn't run from my grossness rather she wanted to love me in it...
You see, too often we think that in our sinful moments that all of Heaven and Earth are disappointed in us and that Jesus Christ has turned his back on us running away; keeping his arms at a distance. Yet that is the opposite of the truth - rather, he come to us, just as with the woman caught in sin; Jesus went right to her and spoke to her.
Christ didn't die for your perfection, He died for your sins and Christ is not running from your sin rather He's running to it. When we sin is when He is trying to love us most.
So next time you feel temptation or are in a choice of sin, recognize that it is in that moment that Christ is trying to love you most...allow yourself to be loved!
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.
When have you tried to keep God at arm's length when He just wanted to embrace you with His mercy?
How could your life change if you let God love you in the "messiest" times of your life?
How do you need to accept the embrace of God's mercy and love more right now in your life? How can you practically do that today?
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.
"Thank you for loving me."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Forgive me Lord."
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?
Stop running from God's mercy and grace. If you need to go to confession - then go! If not, then set a reminder in your calendar to go at least once a month, if not more, and run to His mercy instead of hiding from it.
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. Kyle Manno, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.