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).
Today’s reading and Gospel are clever. Both of them held tension and a woman’s life was at stake. The reading from Daniel showcases a young Daniel stepping up and catching two people in a lie while attempting to take Susanna’s life for not lying with them. One tiny voice turned the entire crowd back to the court to further investigate the claims. Ultimately justice is served as the testimony fabricated by the two men was shown to be false. God stands for justice.
In the new testament, Jesus is tested with seeking to execute a punishment on a woman caught in adultery. Death by stoning is the acceptable response to such an action. Unlike Susanna, this woman was guilty. Jesus began writing on the ground and says ‘let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Many theologians have speculated that Jesus was writing their sins in the dirt during this time. Clever indeed. Jesus’ actions save this woman’s life. God stands for mercy.
Justice and mercy are not opposites, but rather, strong arms of a loving God who embraces us.
Jesus does not condemn, but still acknowledges the sin by saying ‘from now on do not sin any more.’ This at the same time points to the sin, but also points to a new life.
Where in our world do we need to use our tiny voice, like Daniel, to move others toward a more just and mercy filled way of living? Where in our life do we find ourselves as the scribes and Pharisees, seeking to condemn through destruction. Where in our lives do we need to receive God’s mercy and hear the words of Jesus, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”?
Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. Receive that mercy today and echo that mercy in how you live. There is a Susanna out in the world that will be saved by God working through your voice today.
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.
How can I share the Gospel today?
How has God's mercy been evident in my 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.
Hear my prayer.
Draw me close to you.
In your name, I pray.
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?
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 written by Chris Bartlett, Director of Leadership Formation at Ablaze Ministries.