Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
I remember being a little kid and making Christmas lists so vividly. It was a really big deal for me, as I'm sure it was (and still is) for many of you. As I would sit in my room or in the game room in my house, surrounded by things I'd been given on previous Christmases or birthdays, many of which I hadn't touched in months, I was so intent on making a list of new things that would assuredly make me happy and keep me satisfied much longer than those last ones.
The Israelites in the desert were acting just like we do so many times. Recently freed from being slaves in Egypt, they had now moved onto their next complaint. No longer content with what God had done for them in the past, the Israelites called for bigger, newer, better things.
God, in His love for His people, responded. He gave the people water, responding to their grumblings and taking care of their needs.
Do you and I trust that God has a plan for our lives, or do we constantly grumble and complain when we don't get what we want? If He takes us from a bad situation to a better one, are we grateful for the progress being made or do we constantly pick holes in where He has us right now?
So much of this Lenten journey is about purifying our hearts and allowing them to be filled with trust and hope in Jesus. The Israelites in the desert had lost their hope in God's plan, and now grumbled to go back into slavery because it was what they knew all along. As we continue in this Lent, don't look back at the slavery you once had and envy it because it was comfortable. Don't poke holes in the plans God has for your life just because you can't quite see the promised land yet.
Trust in God. Turn your heart over to Him, for He wants to make it whole. The Israelites in the desert famously wondered if God was in their midst; let's take this Lent to remove that doubt, and instead encounter God who wants to encounter us and know that He is truly in our midst.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
When have you ever asked God for something? How has He answered your prayers? (Maybe in ways you didn't expect.
What are things in your life that you are not giving to the Lord? How can you you increase your trust in Him?
What do you think God's plan is for you? Talk to Him about it.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Jesus I trust in you."
"I want the living water."
"Trust in God."
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?
Make a list of all the things that are on your heart or are bothering you. How can you give them to the Lord today?
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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