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).
Have you ever been caught red handed by a parent and instead of saying, "OK, you caught me, and I am sorry." You blame someone else, for the wrong you are doing or you get angry at them and blame them. I used to do this when I was younger. Why? Because I was afraid of punishment by my parents.
This is kind of what is going on in our first reading today. Adam is hiding, why? Because when we sin and disobey God's commands, it causes us to feel shame so we hid ourselves from God. We are afraid that God is going to punish us. So instead of owning up to it and saying I am sorry, Adam points the finger in blame, "That woman you put here gave it to me." Not only does Adam blame Eve but he also blames God, which is pretty bold when you think about it. What does Eve do? She points the finger in blame as well; she said the serpent tricked her into it.
I remember doing the same thing especially when my parents would catch me doing something they asked me not to do. Often instead of saying you are right, I am wrong, I would get angry at them, yell at them and blame them for making me the way I was. What is interesting about this whole story is that the sin that takes place isn’t just that they ate from the forbidden tree and disobeyed God, but their pride was so great they couldn’t see the wrong they had done. One of the most difficult sins to see is the sin of pride, “I know best, I am right, I am in control and I have all the answers.” Unfortunately, we don’t have all the answers, we are not always right or don’t always know what is best. The opposite of pride is humility, knowing ones true self. God knows our true self and God is so forgiving and generous to us.
If we look at the gospel, the story of Jesus feeding the 4,000 people who had been with Him for 3 days, it shows the compassion and mercy of God! Jesus doesn’t want to dismiss the people because he is worried they will collapse on the way. His answer is to feed all of them and to their amazement Jesus feeds the whole crowd! I think if Adam and Eve had known the compassion and mercy of the God with whom they spoke they might have responded differently than blaming others. Let us pray to God for the gift of humility so we might truly know ourselves.
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 do I blame others for my faults or sins? Do I own up to my responsibilities?
How does my pride cause me to sin?
Jesus died for my sins. How can I experience God's forgiveness and His love?
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.
"God is merciful."
"Jesus died for me."
"He died for the very sins we try to hide. There is no need to retreat to the dark when we've been invited into the Light." - Mark Hart
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
When is the last time you went to confession? What are the sins you try to hide from God? From yourself? Try to go to confession in the next few days and run to God's arms of mercy and make a full confession.
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 reflection was prepared by Sr. Faustina Ferko, a Sister of the Order of the Holy Family of Nazareth and Youth Minister at St. James in Arlington Heights, IL.