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).
I will never forget the moment the last time I saw my fiancée. She walked towards me slowly, adorned in a long and flowing white dress. Her head was covered with a veil, yet I could see her smile and her eyes. Tears filled my eyes, yet my eyes remained fixed on my her. That day, she was my bride and my fiancée became my wife.
Why do brides adorn themselves as such? It is to be an image the Church, adorned for her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ Himself. The groom stands for Christ and waits for His Bride at the altar of sacrifice. Just as the Church was born from the altar of the Cross from the side of Christ when blood and water poured forth from His Most Sacred Heart, the ecclesia domestica, the Domestic Church, is born forth at the marriage of Bride and Groom.
This image and symbolism is nothing new within the context of salvation history. Within our first reading, we see the work that God had done within the history of Israel. Speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel, God reminds Israel of her history. The Lord speaks of the infancy and childhood in which He found, so to speak, Israel. Israel was neglected, from both within and without. God approached her and when the time was right for Israel as God had ordained it, He entered into a covenant with her as His beloved.
The beautiful image that we all can take from this, both men and women, is that our souls are like a bride waiting for Our Lord. Our souls are made to be receptive to Him and many saints speak of the soul for both men and women in feminine terms. As Israel was treated like a bride for her Bridegroom, so too are we to be prepared for relationship with God. Think of the imagery that the Lord uses, speaking through Ezekiel. Bathing with water, washing away blood, anointing with oil, clothed in gowns. Does this not sound like life in the Sacraments? We are bathed in the waters of Baptism, washing away our guilt and stain of original sin. We are then anointed with oil, setting us aside for God, all while clothed in a white robe, marking our purity and newness of life within the Trinity.
Throughout life we may choose, given the will that we have, to disparage this gift that God has given us. Husbands and wives are not always perfect keepers of their vows, priests of their ordination, children of the duties, et cetera. However, the message conveyed by Ezekiel is one of great beauty but also one of great mercy. No matter the rebellious things we have done, Jesus has established an everlasting covenant with us through the Church, His Bride. As members of the Church, His Bride, this is our inheritance, our dignity, and our beauty. May we never forget the love of the Bridegroom for us!
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 we were baptized we were given a white garment to represent our purity in Christ. How are you taking care of that today?
Have you considered how you can renew your baptismal vows with the Lord?
What can you do to keep your vows to the Lord this school year?
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.
"I love you Lord."
"I trust you Lord."
"I dedicate my life to you 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?
Take some time in prayer today to renew your Baptismal Promises to the Lord. You can use this video and/or outline as a guide. Start your week fresh with the Lord.
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 Kevin Poynton, graduate of the University of Dayton with a Degree in Religious Studies.
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. "