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).
As I prayed with today's Gospel, I was struck by the amount of humility that is required to perform prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in the way the Lord asks of us. Humility can be considered the "hidden virtue." The Lord asks all of us to live humbly, yet those truly practicing the virtue of humility rarely are noticed or recognized for it. The hypocrites that Jesus speaks of in today's Gospel are ultimately lacking in the virtue of humility. Of course, none of us want to be a hypocrite! So how do we truly grow in humility and in our relationship with the Lord?
Hypocrites seek earthly rewards. Those who are truly humble seek heavenly rewards. The purpose of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is to lead us deeper into relationship with the LORD, not to have our name hung on a shiny plaque or to be recognized in front of hundreds of people. I struggle with this sometimes because I personally love to be affirmed. I love the feeling of knowing that others approve of my hard work. More often than not, I can recognize that this comes from a place of pride in my heart. This desire to be loved and affirmed is not bad in and of itself, but the Lord wants to be the one we run to for love and affirmation. Humility is meant to counteract our pride and lead us back to the Lord in our search for acceptance and approval. May our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving this day lead us back to Him in the hidden depths of our heart where true humility dwells.
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 will you pray with humility today?
How will you fast with humility today?
How will you give alms with humility today?
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.
"Lord, grant me humility."
"Let me not be like the hypocrites."
"Your reward will be great in heaven."
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?
Humbly spend 5 minutes alone in silence with the Lord, whether in a chapel or in your room or in another quiet place.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.