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).
Whoo! That first reading from today! It’s so un-Lenten, right? What’s it doing smack-dab in the middle of this penitential season of sacrifice? I don’t know for sure why the Church - in her wisdom - gives us this reading now, but here’s what comes to me as I pray and reflect on it...
It reminds me WHY we sacrifice.
Have you ever spent any time thinking... no... DREAMING of heaven? The Lord promises to create a brand “new earth.” So amazing that we’ll barely remember the old one. It’ll be a place of total, pure joy with only “rejoicing and happiness.” No more weeping or crying. No more trauma or tragedy. No more goodbyes or loneliness. No more break-ups or heartaches. No more anxiety or depression. No more betrayals. No more sickness or cancer. No more fear or doubt. No more sin and shame. No more death.
Best of all, we are totally united in love with our Lord, and it will last forever.
Alright, before we get too excited, it is Lent, after all, I want to point out just a couple words in the beginning. The Lord tells us, “I am about to create new heavens and a new earth.” More specifically, He’s “about” to create. In other words, it’s not here yet. And so we wait, we persevere.
And that’s Lent.
For me, this reading is a great encouragement to keep praying and sacrificing this Lent. We’ve made it through a lot of Lent, but we’ve still got a lot left. To me it feels like a little Lenten boost.
But even more than that, our time on this earth can be like a big long Lent, when you compare it to the new heavens and the new earth the Lord has waiting for us. I’m not trying to say we should always walk around like we’re in a perpetual state of Lent. But it’s good to remember that our ultimate destiny is heaven. While being down here on earth is a beautiful gift, our Father has an even better gift He’s hand-crafting for us. And He can hardly wait to share it with us.
But we need to be patient.
Both in Lent and in life, we must stay committed to deepening our relationship with the Lord, avoiding sin, loving our neighbor, praying daily, offering up small (and sometimes even large) sacrifices. That takes discipline and perseverance. Sometimes it can feel like a lot. But before we know it...
(But not yet ;)
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 is your lenten journey so far? What is going well? Where do you need a reboot?
How are you keeping an eye on heaven?
What are you sacrificing this lent? How is it bringing you closer to Jesus?
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, I long for you."
"Help me wait for you."
"Lord I need you."
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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinaire in Crystal Lake, IL.
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.
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