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 words of today's Gospel are hard to hear and even harder to figure out how to put them into practice. If I'm going to be truly honest with you, I have to tell you that from time to time, I can be a bit of a whiner. If someone says something rude to me or the car in front of me cuts me off, I'm annoyed and I look for someone to tell. I'll shoot off a quick text like, "Can you believe this? Let me tell you how rude this person was!" It's part human nature, I think, to want to whine to other people about the woes of our day. Like children, we might think to ourselves, "Hey! This isn't fair!" We get a bad attitude about how others have more than us or that someone has wronged us in some way. As always though, the Lord is calling us higher. We might have the inclination towards whining and wanting everything to go our way or else we will tweet about it or include some passive aggressive hashtag in our Instagram post, but the Lord says you are more than that.
Those things are not going to fill our cups and bring us happiness. They are just going to bring on more whining. I love how the Lord says, "give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together…overflowing." It made me think of baking cookies and how when I measure the 1 cup of m&m's, I always overflow the measuring cup. That's what the Lord wants to give us. The more we turn away from the whining and the comparing and the "fairness", the more we can receive the gifts He wants to overflow in our lives. He wants us to look at our lives and think about what we are whining about. We are whining because someone or something has treated us in a way that we did not want to be treated. Instead of whining, God is calling us to choose the higher road: to treat other people the way we want to be treated. And from this, peace will flow. We have to be bigger than retreating into ourselves and having a pity party. We need to rise up and show others the light of Christ and the way of mercy.
The next time, I want to whine or complain about someone who has wronged me, I will remember this passage. I am a child of the Most High. I am made in His image. He is merciful, so I should be too. He forgives so I should too. And I will post a picture of a cute puppy on my Instagram instead.
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.
Do you find it difficult to live out today's Gospel? How often do you find yourself whining throughout the day?
Do you really treat others as you would like to be treated? How would things be different in your life if you did?
How will you rise up and be a light of Christ and His mercy? Will you forgive and love and He does?
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.
"Lord strengthen me."
"Help me love like You do."
"Lord have 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?
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this action step and a simple lock screen or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.
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.