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).
Is it bad to ask for a sign? Jesus makes it pretty clear that it is, but is it as simple as that? Here's something to ponder... Does a stop sign have any value in itself? The answer is 'no.' A stop sign is just an octagon, that is red, has four letters saying stop and has no value in itself; rather it communicates a truth meaning it tells you to stop moving your vehicle. In fact if you saw that same stop sign on the wall at Applebees you wouldn't stop eating because the sign makes sense out of the context of moving.
Does the English language have any value in itself? No, we simply make sounds with our mouths that communicate meaning, and a non-english speaker would not understand what is being conveyed.
So signs in themselves have no meaning unless we understand what they are communicating. In fact, when I was in college I remember asking God for a sign to go to seminary. I would say "God just send me down a box from Heaven that says be a priest and I'll open it and then I'll go, just tell me what to do."
I never got that sign, yet God did communicate in so many ways with my heart and He kept tapping my heart helping me discover who I am. In fact, during my discernment I was on a trip in Rome and walked into a random church and as I walked in there was an ordination going on, the priest with me said, 'It's a sign!'
As I stood there I realized my heart was inflamed and that I wanted to be up there as well getting ordained. You see the sign in itself wasn't what helped me become a priest, but rather it was that God, through the sign, inflamed my heart to move me towards His will!
And so the Pharisees wanted a sign simply like someone would want a magic trick; but a Christian can ask for God to reveal himself through signs and actions if their desire is not for the sign, but for God. So do not be a Pharisee asking God to be a magician, but ask Him to be your Savior communicating directly to your heart and inflaming you for His love!
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 you ask God for signs, are you more interested in the sign or in following God's will? How can you make it more often the latter?
Would you be able to recognize a sign from God in your life? What do you think you can do so that you can hear His voice more clearly and recognize His signs in your life?
What do you need God to help guide you through right now? How can you stay open to His signs, and not the ones you limit Him to?
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.
"Help me hear Your voice Lord."
"Prepare the way."
"All I am is Yours, God."
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?
Learn how to listen to the Lord. Find a spiritual director to help you discern those signs in your life and see what God is really trying to tell you.
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 Fr. Kyle Manno, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.