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).
Being a prophet is a rough job. If you ever doubt that, glance through some of the writings of the OT prophets and they will tell you themselves. Their job is usually to hear the word of God (which is usually bad news and a warning for Israel), tell the kings and people of Israel the warning, get persecuted for it, watch as Israel doesn't repent, and then what Israel get punished. after doing that a few times, they will either be exiled and/or put to death. Not a fun gig. But Ezekiel gets an even weirder version of the job.
When we think of prophesy, we usually think of words. Speaking truth to power. Calling people to repentance. Showing people the reality of their sin, and the reality of God's mercy. Ezekial, however, is asked to take a step further. Some prophets perform signs and wonders in order to prove they are from God. Ezekial, on the other hand, is the sign.
He's called to live in radical and seemingly crazy ways. It certainly catches people's attention. His life becomes a sign, the sign of people's sins and the consequences of those sins. But Ezekial isn't just a sign for his moment in time or the near future. His life also points to the one who will be a sign of contradiction in a divinely radical way.
While Ezekial's life is a sign of sin and the consequences of sin, Jesus Christ is more of a 'sacrament.' More than a sign, Jesus actually takes on the reality of sin and opens up the doors of mercy and grace, not through his life, but through his death. Not only do we see the consequences and reality of sin on the cross, we actually experience the Grace and mercy that conquers sin.
You are kind of in the middle between Ezekial and Jesus. Not just a sign, but not quite the reality. Indeed, all of us are called to live out the sufferings of Christ in our own way. But unlike Ezekial who was just a sign, Christ actually works redemption through you. Every time you offer up your suffering to God, Christ makes it worth something. It doesn't often take away the pain, but does make the pain worth more than you will be able to see in this life.
Sounds good, but difficult. Is it worth it?
What gave the prophets the strength to live their lives? What was the reason that Christ suffered, died, and was resurrected? Why and how can we do our small part in salvation history? All these questions have the same answer: Love. Love truly makes all of this worth it.
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 my life a sign?
How am I living out the sufferings of Christ?
How am I showing love by the way I live 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.
"Love conquers all."
"Unite your suffering with Christ."
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?
When you feel down or frustrated today, say a prayer to God, asking Him to be with you in your suffering.
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. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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.