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 Gospel today is probably the most well known and richest Gospel to pray Lectio Divina because of the array of characters such as the forgiving Father, the upset brother and the prodigal son. I relate to the prodigal son because most of my life I was lost and lived a life of dissipation myself. When I decided to come back to God and went to confession after 26 years with many mortal sins on my soul, I was nervous and downright scared. I thought I was going to be in for a serious reprimand and I was sure my penance would be brutal.
“This isn’t going to be pretty…” I thought as I got on my knees with a pit in my stomach. Then the priest said, “Welcome home,” in the most beautiful, loving and caring voice. I couldn’t help but cry uncontrollably. The tears were not filled with shame but with joy and relief. I felt the love of Jesus through the priest who welcomed me back after so many dark years of being away. When he absolved me of my sins, I felt this warm waterfall of peace and love in my body and soul. Then a radiating joy filled me from head to toe as I floated out of the church.
I felt like the prodigal son who went to his father with full disclosure, admitting his fault and ready to accept whatever his father would say or do to him. The father was so happy to have his son home he could do nothing but love him and celebrate his return. I lived this Gospel and felt the love of The Father just like the prodigal son did.
That is the beauty of confession. God is love. You have heard there is so much celebration in heaven when one soul comes to confession and repents of his sins. I am begging you, please go to confession, don’t put it off! I go every 7-10 days now. The sacraments make us stronger in our spiritual fight on this earth.
God loves it when we come to Him. Satan hates it and loses his grip on us the more we go to confession and receive the Eucharist in Mass. The sacraments are powerful. Maybe you are running from Jesus because you fear the punishment. Or maybe you are so angry or ashamed with yourself and you can’t bring yourself to go to confession. Maybe you are making excuses and putting it off because you don’t have the time.
We can make up many excuses and create some horrid picture in our minds of what it will be like. All I know is I have never come out of confession regretting it. Please go now - you do not know the day or the hour you may leave this earth. God desires you to come to Him so you can live free, be full of hope, and begin anew. You are his beloved child. You were lost but now you are found.
God, thank you the sacramental graces of the Catholic Church.
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.
Which person in the Prodigal Son story today do you most relate to? Are you lost and needing to come home? With the Father but with a hardened or jealous heart? Being called to loving forgiveness?
What makes it hard for you to come back to Jesus and forgive your sins?
Take some time now to examine your conscience to prepare for confession, whenever you next have the chance to go and receive that Sacrament.
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.
"You are Father."
"You are loving."
"You are forgiving."
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?
Get to confession! If you can't because your parish has had to cancel activities due to COVID-19, take time to examine your conscience, ask God for forgiveness, and plan to go as soon as you are able. If you are in a place where you can still get there today, don't wait!
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 Kendra Von Esh, an International Catholic Speaker, TV News Anchor, Radio Host and Author with a passion to help others deepen their relationship with God and the Faith.
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