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).
At first glance, it really seems like Moses just convinced God to change and do what Moses thinks is better. But God never changes! What is happening here?!
God in the Old Testament has a bad reputation of being angry and full of wrath while God in the New Testament is known for being loving and forgiving; however, they are the same God and it is true that He does not change His essence. With giving us free will, God freely surrenders to the unpredictable and imperfect ways humans will act and respond, including all of the grief and suffering they (we) will cause God through our sins. We have to keep in mind, when reading this passage, that God is one of justice. The people sinned and there are consequences for sin- no different than it is for you and me now. Before Jesus came into the picture and died for our sins, making the salvation of souls possible, God was already (and still is) loving and merciful.
The people gravely sinned by making and worshiping a golden calf, so God announced what their punishment would be by saying, “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.” But the key phrase here is, “Let me alone” because this is an invitation of mercy. God could have just done it already- let his wrath consume the people and start over again with Moses, but He first tells Moses and gives him the opportunity to intercede for the people and implore God’s mercy.
Intercessory prayer is extremely beautiful and extremely powerful. Who do we often ask to intercede for us in prayer? Mary. The saints. Our holy brothers and sisters in Christ. We look to the people that are closest to God. Moses already had a beautiful, faithful, and fruitful relationship with God- of course the Israelites would want his intercession! I think also of the souls in Purgatory who can’t pray for themselves to get out and to Heaven- intercessory prayer is so important. Having a close relationship with God is also important.
You and I have the ability to pray for each other, to pray for the world. We’ve read in Matthew 18:20, that where two or three are gathered, God is also with them. I wonder the power of having two or three praying for the same petitions. When we come to our Lord interceding for one another out of love and selflessness for petitions that don’t directly involve ourselves, exemplifying Jesus’ love for us, they are surely to stand out to God.
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 have you experienced God's unwavering and unchanging mercy in your own life?
What petitions would you like others, especially Mary and the saints, to pray for?
How can you pray for others today and follow Moses' example of faith and trust?
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.
"Have mercy on us."
"Here's my hear, Lord."
"Lord, hear my prayer."
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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Katie LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.