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).
It’s impossible for us to save ourselves.
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus makes this very clear. He tells his disciples that when it comes to being saved from hell, for us it’s “impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
We often focus on the second part (“All things are possible for God”) because it makes us feel good. Like an inspirational cat poster that tells us we can do whatever we put our minds to. But what about that first part where Jesus tells us, point blank, that it’s impossible for us to get to heaven on our own?
I think you and I know this... but do we really believe it?
By themselves, all our good deeds and intentions won’t get us to heaven. Heaven is for those who are perfect, and if you’ve ever made a mistake, then you’ve already been disqualified. Being a good person isn’t enough. Just like the rich young man in today’s gospel had followed all the commandments since he was a child, but Jesus told him it wasn’t enough.
Yikes, why so negative, right?
As Lent quickly approaches, we are reminded that we are dust, and to dust we will return. We must not only know this in our heads, but believe it in our hearts. We cannot save ourselves. Only then do we recognize our need for a Savior. After hearing the rich young man’s list of good deeds, Jesus told him it wasn’t enough to inherit eternal life. So what was that young man missing?
It’s not just about following the commandments, although that’s necessary. It’s not just about remaining free from excessive attachment to wealth and possessions, although that’s important too. It’s about giving up control of our lives to the one and only person who can save us: Jesus Christ our Lord.
This Lent, don’t just give stuff up and do good things. As you pray about the Lord’s will for you this Lent, strive with all your heart to surrender your whole life to Him. Although you can’t save yourself, the Lord can save you. He wants to save you. Jesus already paid the price for your sins, but if you hang onto your life you’ll lose it.
So let go. Surrender to Him and allow Him to do the impossible: to save your soul.
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 trust the Lord? Do you give yourself fully to Him?
Do you surrender yourself to the Lord?
Under whose power do you get to heaven?
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.
"Do the impossible Lord."
"I give myself to you."
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?
Put your trust in the Lord. What are you holding on to? Write it down and give it to the Lord.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinare in Crystal Lake, IL.
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