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).
There are many writers in the world, all with different things to say to different audiences. Oftentimes, they can take forever to just get to the point. I know that I had professors in school who would do this in their own books or in their lectures. It just seemed like they would take forever to just get to their point, and might even lose you in the process of doing so. I know I've done this before, writing page after page of what just seemed like redundancy just to achieve a word or page limit for assignments.
Saint Paul was not this type of writer. Guided by the Holy Spirit, his words are succinct and brief, yet compelling and powerful. In just seven verses of a letter he wrote to the Early Church in Ephesus, he summarized the history of our salvation.
He begins with praise to God the Father, Who blesses us with the gift of His grace through His Son Jesus Christ. He acknowledges our responsibility to be holy, that is, our call to be saints. It was by the Father's love, he says, that we are made adopted sons and daughters through Jesus, that we might recognize God as our Father and might give Him praise and thanksgiving for his work in our own lives.
Saint Paul says this is all possible through the action of Our Blessed Lord on the Cross, in Whose Blood we have forgiveness of our sins and by Whose Body we are nourished in the Eucharist. We could say this is the mystery "made known to us of His will in accord with His favor that He set forth in Him," for the Sacraments are the mysteries by which grace comes into our lives by the work of Christ. This is the "plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth." Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, became Incarnate so that the will of the Father might be fulfilled, that we, his adopted sons and daughters, might render praise, honor, and thanksgiving through Christ to Our Father in Heaven. How beautiful it is, that we lowly sinners would be called by such a great God to be His own children and to cry out to Him "Abba! Father" through Jesus Christ His Son.
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 is the last time you let yourself be captivated by the simple gospel message of our salvation? Or in other words, spend a little time thanking Jesus simply for Who He is and what He has done to save us all... especially what He has done to bring you His gift of love.
If the Lord had wanted to, He could have made salvation much more complicated. But He chose to make it simple, so that salvation could be accessible to everyone. Thank Him for offering His mercy so simply to you.
What is the most amazing, captivating aspect of the gospel for you? What part of Jesus' message or life "grabs" you the most?
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.
"Captivate me, Lord."
"Lord, I am your beloved daughter." / "Lord, I am your beloved son."
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?
See if you can share this simple gospel message with someone today or in the next day or two. Don't try to use complicated theology or religious lingo... Just share the good news of the forgiveness of sins and new life in Jesus.
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 Kevin Poynton, graduate of the University of Dayton with a Degree in Religious Studies.