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).
I love getting a pair of new shoes. I recently took some money I got from Santa and bought a brand new pair of hiking boots- something I've wanted to get for a while. I was so excited when they arrived, fit perfectly, were comfortable, and looked so new and squeaky-clean! I was ready to conquer some trails with these new boots- and to finally have some good ankle support. I had been anticipating these boots for so long and now that they were finally mine, I began to realize I was hesitant to use them.
Finally, the day came to try to break them in. I knew that the trails I was going to be hiking were bound to be muddy due to some non-stop rain for two weeks. But when the time came to actually use them, I didn't actually want to. I mean, I had waited for the right deal for the right pair of boots, and here they are in my room looking fresh and clean- why would I want to dirty them up on my first use?
Today's first reading from St. Peter really struck a chord with me. He calls us, in anticipating the coming of the Lord and the new heaven and new earth, to be found unblemished and without a spot...in other words, squeaky-clean like my new boots. I started to think about my shoes (I know it's weird, but hey...the Holy Spirit works in fun ways!) and how I treat them. It occurred to me that the shoes I've had since high school- the ones falling apart and torn all over- were the shoes I preferred to use to mow the lawn and get dirty. But, at one time, when I first got those shoes, I felt exactly like I do now with my new boots.
We are so fixated on keeping things that are new and squeaky-clean exactly that way- clean and unblemished. But when the years pass, we soon turn to those things and abuse them because there's already a blemish (or many) on them. I began to reflect on my own soul- something that is often squeaky-clean after a good confession, and super clean after my baptism. Why is it that I treat myself like the old shoes and not the new boots?
Today, St. Peter is calling us to recommit ourselves to be squeaky-clean before the Lord...to have souls that are unblemished and spotless because the time is coming when the Lord will return and judge us. It's so easy to abuse a soul that has been neglected and allowed to be bruised and blemished- we treat ourselves like the old shoes and not the new boots. Let this be a chance to recommit yourself to holiness and striving to live a sinless life! Get to confession if you haven't been in a while and allow the Lord to wipe those blemishes away. We don't know the day or the hour when the Lord will return, but when he does, we'd rather have new boots than dirty old shoes.
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 treat my soul- like a new pair of boots I don't want to dirty or an old pair of shoes to be beaten up?
What is the state of my soul? Do I need to get to confession?
How can I treat myself like a new pair of boots all the time and fight to keep my soul unblemished?
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, Lord Jesus."
"Help me to live a sinless life."
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
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 time to do a spiritual inventory today- what is the state of your soul? If it's dirty, get to confession. If it isn't, make a plan to keep it squeaky-clean!
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 Adam Smyth, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.
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. "