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).
Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how I want to make an impact on this world and inspire people to greatness. In many ways, I long to be like one of those motivational speakers that arouses a sense of excitement or adventure in people’s lives when I share about God. Yet more often than not, I find myself feeling like a “mere youth,” as Solomon describes himself in today’s first reading. Maybe it’s because I often get mistaken for a teenager, but I also think that sometimes, like Solomon, I struggle to even know where to begin when it comes to serving God and His people.
God gives Solomon the opportunity to ask for ANYTHING in this world. If I were in Solomon’s position, I would have a long list of things I would like to ask God for, including (though not limited to) a few extra dollars in my bank account, more hours in the day, or maybe even I’d ask Him to make me look a few years older (so I didn’t get mistaken for a teenager as often). But what does Solomon ask for? “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.” WOW.
Solomon begins to change our idea of what a true king really looks like. Jesus Christ was not a typical warrior-king asking for a long life for Himself, or for bountiful riches, or for the lives of His enemies. Jesus was a king who showed us that true royalty lies in compassion and humility, even to the point of laying down your life for those that you love. Solomon has seen the Lord’s faithfulness toward his father, David, and he knows that the Lord will continue to be faithful. He isn’t worried about earthly success, but desires live out the calling that the Lord has given him to the best of his abilities.
By virtue of our Baptism, we too are called to be priests, prophets, and kings. We are called to imitate the kingship of our Lord by having an understanding heart, like Solomon asked. I firmly believe that in order to teach people about God and the great love He has for each one of us, we must begin by loving our neighbor and simply being present to them. Everyone has a story, and we are all journeying together on the path to heaven. I encourage you today to pray and ask God for an understanding heart, a heart that seeks to know and love the other, especially the poor and vulnerable. And I challenge you to reach out in compassion to your neighbor, whether you know them or not. In doing so, the Lord shows us greater love than we could ever imagine, and in humbling ourselves, the Lord raises us up to new heights.
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.
What would you ask God for if you were in Solomon's place? Why?
How can you start to live your life better so that you can desire that wise and understanding heart that Solomon desired?
Who in your life do you need to be more understanding with? How can you begin that journey 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.
"Purify my heart, Lord."
"Here I am, Lord."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
Love your neighbor.
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, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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