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).
Imagine for a second you are jonesin’ for an orange. For whatever reason, you woke up this morning with the insatiable desire for vitamin C and citrus and you are going to fulfill it. You peel out of bed, glide down to the pantry, or store, or whatever you have to do to satisfy your desire for an orange. Finally, you obtain the brightest, most vibrant, best looking orange you could possibly imagine. As you begin peeling, the beautiful container of citrus and goodness is surprisingly not the soft delicious fruit you thought it would be, but underneath you find a rotted, green, and rotting core. And it only gets more putrid the more you journey to the center.
I apologize if I just made you want an orange and then ruined it for you, but this analogy relates well to the responsorial psalm we pray with today. All the readings for today focus heavily on this notion that even if you appear perfect on the outside, what matters most of all is that you are pure, holy, virtuous, and just on the inside, that is, truly from your heart.
To follow Jesus means to allow Him into your heart, into your inner core, and from this inner relationship, to be transformed to love God and love neighbor unceasingly. As Christians, we have to act without duplicity, that is, that we should not focus on presenting ourselves on the outside as clean and perfect if we are rotting away spiritually on the inside because of our own sin. The psalmist tells us that “the mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.” What he is attempting to proclaim to us is that someone who truly dedicates their entire self to the Lord speaks consistently of wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is the law of God. To this end, the psalmist describes the just one as someone for whom “The law of his God is in his heart, and his steps do not falter.”
If we profess to follow Christ and the will of God for our lives, we need to be more concerned with what is going on inside than what is going on outside (can say all the right prayers, can spout off volumes of theology, looking holy when praying). For someone to murmur wisdom implies that the law of God is constantly on their hearts, minds, and lips. This comes from not merely appearing to be a follower of Christ on the outside, but to the very core loving the Lord for His sake and seeking to be holy as He has called us to be holy.
So, today, “commit to the Lord your way; trust in Him, and He will act.” Do not worry as much today about the externals. Ask yourself: Jesus, how are you calling me closer to your heart?” Listen, and let your heart be changed today! AMDG.
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.
If you were an orange, what would you look like on the inside? Would you be a healthy fruit to the core, or do you appear healthy on the outside and sickly on the inside?
Do you allow Jesus into your inner heart or you do only perform the actions of faith? What's holding you back from giving your whole self to God?
How well do you know the Law of God? Do you know what Christ asks of you? Do you live out His law of love? How can you grow to a deeper knowledge and love of how God is calling you to act?
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.
"Come into me."
"Open my heart."
"Teach me to love."
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?
Spend time in prayer and ask the Lord how He is calling you closer to His heart today. Really focus on letting Christ come into you, breaking down the walls you may have put up in your heart. Be authentic with God and do not let yourself fall into the temptation of only putting in the effort to do the external things. Commit to God today.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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.