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).
Understanding God’s covenant relationship with humanity is the very key to understanding the Bible. In the Old Testament, we see God make five covenants, each furthering his plan of salvation history. The sixth covenant marked by Jesus’ death and resurrection, is the New Covenant, fulfilling all of God’s Old Testament promises.
In today’s first reading, God is establishing the fourth of those sixth covenants, taking place after the Israelites are delivered out of Egypt. This covenant is famous for introducing the Ten Commandments, but there is more at play in terms of God’s larger plan. Let’s look at a specific verse from today’s reading below:
“Then he [Moses] took the blood and splashed it on the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.’” (Exodus 24:8)
We find Jesus saying almost these exact words when he establishes the New Covenant during the Last Supper (see Mark 14:24, Matthew 26:28). What does this all mean? I will defer to Catholic theologian Scott Hahn to summarize in the quote below:
“His covenant at Sinai, as we've seen, is intended to fulfill His promise that through Abraham's descendants, He will bless all the nations of the world. So Israel is being consecrated here at Sinai as a "light to the nations," leading them in the ways of holiness (see Isaiah 42:6; 49:6)….This is a sign for us that what we're reading about here in Exodus "prefigures" the New Covenant - it is a partial fulfillment of God's plan. The ultimate fulfillment will come with Jesus.” (Covenant Love: Introducing the Biblical Worldview Lesson 4:3)
Today, I encourage you to reflect on God’s incredible plan for salvation and the many ways in which He has fulfilled the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament.
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.
What are some promises God makes that are particularly important to your heart and to your vision and understanding of who God is?
God's promises to Abraham and Moses, ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, were that his blessings would be poured upon all people. How have you experienced the blessing of God in your own life?
What does God's great message of salvation mean for the world today? How does God carry out that plan of salvation in real, tangible ways?
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.
"You are the hope of the world."
"You are Savior."
"You fulfill the promises of the Father."
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?
Take some time today to study what is really happening in the Old Testament. Maybe get together with your Bible study or some friends who love to read Scripture and pray through it, or maybe take advantage of beautiful resources online like this one. Whatever you do, take some time today to engage your mind in the beauty of God's promises.
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 Liam Brady, an accountant in Chicago.