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).
The refrain of today’s responsorial Psalm keeps sticking with me: With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
I’m sure we each have a story where we feel that we do not deserve God’s love, and yet He follows through anyway. I struggle sometimes that I constantly feel like I’m failing – even failing Him. Yet it’s often in those moments that He surprises me most.
One of the ways I know God loves me is by His reliability when I’m flying home to Chicago from my current residence in Washington, D.C. Being the daughter of an airline pilot, I get to use a few of my dad’s “free” (really not free at all, but discounted) flights each year. Standby flights have been tricky lately, though, and oftentimes flights are oversold and the waits are enormous.
This past weekend I was flying back to D.C. from a wedding in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It seemed like it should be a cinch: there were supposed to be 30-some open seats on the plane. Yet somehow over the weekend all those empty seats got sold. I showed up at the airport Sunday night, ready and anxious to get back for a busy week of work and grad school, and my flight was oversold. I was stressed, as I had an important day at work the next day and couldn’t miss … but there was nothing that I could do. So I prayed, and tried my hardest not to worry.
After an hour of holding back tears, the gate agent went through the names. Somehow, a group of people did not show up for the flight. I got the last open seat home, and made it to my big day at work.
When I boarded the plane, as I do every time that this happens, I was holding back so many emotions. I definitely didn’t deserve that seat. It wasn’t responsible of me to wait for the last flight home – I should have worked harder so I could afford a full-price ticket. But, even in my weakness, the Lord had pity on me, and got me where I need to be. It doesn’t always happen that way, but this time it did, and my heart was full of nothing but gratitude.
This may seem like a silly story, but to me at least, standby miracles are always my proof that God loves me and hears every single prayer of my heart. We don’t deserve His goodness, but that’s what’s so wonderful about being a child of God – we’ll never deserve it. Yet He sees our intentions, our hearts, our desires to follow Him, and He loves us and gives us the fullness of his mercy and redemption through it. How amazing that He died on the cross so that we don’t have to! He sees our weakness, yet loves us anyway. When we go to confession, He forgives and forgets every sin. He delights in loving us and bringing us closer to him. How very blessed are we to be children.
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 of the small ways that God has shown you He hears your prayers this year? This month? This week? Even just today?
How can you become more attentive to the day-to-day responses God gives to your prayers?
What are you thankful for 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, Lord."
"I know You hear my prayers."
"In You I find mercy."
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?
Take time today to entrust to the Lord the little things that you face and trust that He hears you. Maybe it's a test, a tough conversation, the fact that you're running late for work, or anything in between. Take time to entrust those to Him, knowing that He cares about even the smallest thing.
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 Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.