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 recently moved a few hundred miles away from home to start my “big girl” job. The opportunity sort of fell out of the sky and I had just about a week to figure out where I would live, tie up all loose ends at home, and pack all of my things into a moving van.
As I was going through all of my things and thinking about how I would prioritize what was most important to fit in the van and what I could leave behind, I was reminded of a dear friend of mine who recently joined a religious order. All he was able to take with him was a backpack filled with a few pieces of clothing and a couple of special personal items. I kept him and the joy of simplicity in mind as I worked hard to downsize. I thought I was doing really well at only bringing what I absolutely needed…until I found myself taking out individual items from boxes to fit into miscellaneous open spaces somewhere in the fully-packed moving van.
If Jesus came up to me today and told me to leave all of my physical belongings behind and follow him, I’m sad to admit that I am not really sure if I would hesitate. But that’s just the physical stuff! What about the rest of his life that the tax collector in the Gospel simply left behind to follow Jesus?
Tax collectors were notorious sinners, so by giving that up to follow Jesus, Levi was obviously making a great choice in the realm of eternal salvation, but what about the comfort of his familiar way of life? What about all those other things that weren’t seemingly bad at all?
This Lent we have the opportunity to respond to Jesus just as the tax collector did. We might give up something physical, offer a great banquet of praise from the home of our hearts, or anything else that requires leaving something of our old selves behind to make room for the good Christ has in store for us.
Ultimately, we have an opportunity now to go to Christ just like how a sick person would go to the doctor. Why just look at the part of ourselves that isn’t feeling well, when we could get a whole body (and soul) checkup? If we give Christ only the “broken” parts of us, we’re trying to limit him to only fix those parts; if we give Christ our entire self, we’re opening ourselves up to an inconceivable amount of grace.
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 is your Lent going so far? Have you been responding to the grace Jesus has offered you to follow him more closely this season?
In what ways is Christ calling you to leave something behind in order to make room for him in your heart?
What part of yourself is Christ asking for today that you haven't given him yet? What is holding you back from having given Jesus everything?
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 give you my whole self."
"I will follow you."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
If you haven't done this yet, take some time today to write down the things you're doing this lent in the form of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to allow this to be a time truly focused on the Lord. Then, in light of today's Gospel, take a look at that list and honestly assess if this is really the list that will allow you to be like Levi, responding in faith to God, or if you need to add, remove, or change things to really focus on his call for your life.
Smartphone Lock Screen
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco.
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