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 particularly love today’s first reading because it contains so many incredibly real pieces of advice and bits of wisdom for our journey with Christ. There are so many lines that stick out to me, but there a couple in particular that I really want to focus on.
The line that I personally struggle most with in today’s reading is: “Accept whatever befalls you, when sorrowful, be steadfast, and in crushing misfortune be patient.” Oof that’s a tough one. It’s easy to accept whatever befalls us when it is something easy or joyful, such as a vacation or a job promotion or making the varsity team. However, it is a lot more difficult to accept whatever befalls us when it brings us suffering or hurt or confusion, such as the death of a loved one, failing that test we studied really hard for, or being rejected. And yet it is in sorrow and misfortune that we have to persevere in prayer and trust in God like never before (and yes, that’s really difficult!). In accepting whatever befalls us, we have to realize that the Lord is going to help us to grow in and through it to become closer to Him. No matter what befalls us, we can trust that God loves us and does not forsake us, even in our suffering. The Lord calls us to be patient because our suffering will not last forever, and if we rely on Him, we will get to experience true joy.
At the end of the reading, we are asked a a couple of questions:
“Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?”
These questions stand out to me because I think all of us have a tendency to compare our faith journey to others. While each of our faith journeys are indeed unique, the common thread throughout all of them is that if we put our hope in the Lord, we will not be disappointed. We read the stories in Scripture of men like Abraham, Noah, and Paul and often think that God did some incredible things in their lives hundreds or thousands of years ago but is not going to do the same things in our lives today. While each of those stories is unique, God is writing a story just as unique and brilliant in your life. Continue to persevere in prayer and call upon the Lord, and I promise you will not be disappointed in the results.
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 part of today's first reading challenges me the most?
How often am I steadfast in sorrow and patient in misfortune?
How do I struggle to think God can do big things in my life?
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.
"Give me patience."
"You are faithful."
"Help me to hope in 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?
Spend time today specifically praying for patience and steadfastness for the struggles and sorrows you have in life right now. Ask God to give you specific help for specific problems and begin the process of trusting him even more.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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