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).
For anyone who thinks Jesus is all about hugging lambs and chasing butterflies, I dare you to take today's reading to heart. Christianity has been distorted in our culture, and we often think that Jesus was a total softie who only spoke words of positive encouragement.
But true love is better than that, which what Jesus has for us today. He challenges us to be transformed from the inside out.
Jesus wasn't saying this to be mean. Believe it or not, He said it out of love for the scribes and Pharisees (although, truthfully, He was probably pretty frustrated with them, too). He says the same thing to us: convert your hearts! Instead of acting holy on the outside, He calls us to be transformed on the inside first.
Do we just act holy? Do we just do holy things? Do we try to rack up enough God-points so we can feel good about ourselves? Do we pray lots of rosaries and chaplets and other prayers... but stop there?
My life is marked by this struggle. In junior high I remember a priest coming in to talk to our class, asking if any of us boys felt that we might be called to the priesthood. I raised my hand, seriously considering giving my life to the Lord in this way. And then during recess a couple friends and I cornered the new girl in our class and made fun of her relentlessly. She eventually left the school. Then in high school I was on our church's Peer Ministry Team, preaching the importance of holiness and purity. And at the same time, I was in an impure relationship for an entire year.
Let's strive to not just act holy, but to convert our hearts. Then, as our hearts turn more and more to the Lord, our faith will transform our lives. In this way, we will be transformed from the inside out.
"Cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean."
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.
In what ways do you act holy, but your heart hasn't been converted yet.
Have an honest conversation with the Lord about your heart. How is He calling you to be transformed from the inside out?
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.
"Transform me from the inside out, Lord."
"Change my heart, O 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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Try to recognize the way's you've been acting holy. You don't have to stop those things, just try to stir your heart with zeal for the Lord. Do those things with your heart.
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 Dan Wolff.