The Story of Salvation – Lectio Divina

The Story of Salvation - Adam - Banner

Adam - One Couple

Day 1

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Ephesians 1:3-14.

Quick Thoughts

Written into the very act of creating the cosmos is a covenant through which God expresses His fatherly love and His desire to be in relationship with us. So, from the foundation of the world, we might know that He loved us first, and His love is unfailing.

Reflection Question

How can I recognize and respond to His love throughout my week?

Day 2

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Hosea 11:1-4.

Quick Thoughts

Consider what it means that you are a son or daughter of God, made in His image, and to have a Father who desires only good things for you.

Reflection

Spend some time thinking about the ways the Father has led you to where you are in your life with “bands of love.”

Day 3

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Ezekiel 20:12-20.

Quick Thoughts

God blesses the Seventh Day, and through it, He seals His covenant with creation—that He would be a Father to us and we would be His children. Do I lose sight of this identity as I go about my week?

Reflection Question

How can I choose to enter more deeply into the Sabbath, into His covenant?

Day 4

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon John 10:10.

Quick Thoughts

When the serpent enters the garden, he immediately attacks the couple’s image of God’s identity. Have I fallen into the devil’s trap this week, viewing God as a strict lawgiver instead of a loving father? Do I sometimes think He is holding out on me, that His laws will keep me from “fun” or from experiencing the fullness of life?

Reflection Question

When Jesus says, “I desire that they might have life, and have it to the fullest,” what does that look like for me?

Day 5

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 1 John 3:1-3.

Quick Thoughts

Consider the gift the Father has given to you in adopting you as His son or daughter. Spend some time in intentional gratitude for being drawn into His covenant.

Reflection Question

What kinds of things have I let define my identity? How can I change them? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

Day 6

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Galatians 5:1.

Quick Thoughts

Have I allowed myself to be freed by Christ? What is the yoke of slavery in my life? Do I believe I was created for freedom in Christ? What is keeping me from the love of the Father?

Reflection Question

What are some steps the Lord might be calling me to take this week to rid myself of this yoke of slavery?

Day 7

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 33:4-9.

Quick Thoughts

Consider how all of the created world was made to show the nature of God: His power, His grandeur, His goodness, His love, His justice, His righteousness.

Reflection Question

Do I, as a son or daughter, stand in awe of the Father? Am I, like creation, a living witness to the nature and identity of God?

The Story of Salvation - Noah - Banner

Noah - One Family

Day 1

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Genesis 1:31.

Quick Thoughts

When God looked upon the earth, He initially “saw that it was good,” and later, He saw its wickedness. When I consider that God looks upon me, do I believe He truly sees me? What do I think He sees? How do I increase my trust that I am constantly being held within His merciful gaze—that, through no merit of my own, He sees me and finds delight in me?

Reflection

Take a few moments in prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit into your heart, and then ask the Father how He sees you.

Day 2

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 147:11.

Quick Thoughts

Noah was a man who trusted in God’s promises long before he could see the outcome. Do I trust God completely? Do I have hope in His love? Do I truly believe that He knows what is best for my life, or do I prefer my own plans? What areas of my heart do I still need to surrender to Him?

Reflection Question

Do I expect Him to keep His promises?

Day 3

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon James 1:22 and here to prayerfully reflect on John 14:15.

Quick Thoughts

Without hesitation or delay, Noah obeys God’s command to build an ark, regardless of what others might think or say. He did not say, “I’ll pray about it,” or worry about the effect it might have on his own routine or plan of life.

Reflection Question

How is the Lord asking me to grow in obedience and promptness to His call?

Day 4

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Luke 1:43-45.

Quick Thoughts

Do I believe, like Mary, like Noah, that what is spoken to me by the Lord will be fulfilled? Do I trust that He is a Father who is faithful to His promises for my life? That He desires only my good?

Reflection

Ask Him for the grace to entrust your life and your plans to Him, and beg Him to increase that trust.

Day 5

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Ephesians 2:1-10.

Quick Thoughts

In the covenant with Noah, God simply says, “I’m saving everyone,” and each member of Noah’s family—no matter how broken—has access to the grace of the covenant. They did nothing to earn this grace; they can only receive God’s gift. Grace is the saving gift of God.

Reflection Question

How have I encountered God, rich in mercy? What interior changes has this grace allowed me to make in my heart? What changes still need to be made?

Day 6

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

Quick Thoughts

What the Lord did through the waters of the flood, He also does in our hearts, if we let Him. He can wash away all that is wicked and destructive in our lives and help us begin again as a new creation.

Reflection Question

How is God bringing about the work of reconciliation in my own heart right now? How is He making me into a new creation?

Day 7

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Ephesians 3:14-19.

Quick Thoughts

Noah’s family is the new beginning of the human race, the means by which God chooses to carry out His plan of salvation. And yet, this family is also severely broken. God has given each of us a human family, called to imitate the Divine family and introduce us to the love of the Trinity. Our families can be our first gateway into the New Covenant, but because the brokenness of sin affects all of us, they can also be the hardest place to know God’s love.

Reflection Question

In what ways has God manifested His love to me through my family? In what ways can I bring a sign of His unfailing love into your family?

The Story of Salvation - Abraham - Banner

Abraham - One Tribe

Day 1

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 37:4-7.

Quick Thoughts

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what your “Lot” is—the thing that you are most afraid to surrender to God.

Reflection

Ask for the grace to let go of your attachments and to wait for God’s will to manifest itself in your life.

Day 2

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 1 Samuel 15:22.

Quick Thoughts

Abram was only halfway obedient to God’s command. Where in my life do I need to grow in the virtue of obedience? Where are the places of resistance in my heart?

Reflection

Spend some time praying for an increase in this virtue in your life.

Day 3

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Deuteronomy 31:6.

Quick Thoughts

Abram’s greatest fear was that he would never have a son—someone to carry on his line of descendants—even though all of the Lord’s promises would have required one. What are some of my deepest fears? Am I afraid that God will not fulfill my desires? Am I afraid that the way in which He fulfills my desires will look different than my plan?

Reflection

Spend some time praying for the grace to grow in trust.

Day 4

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Luke 1:38.

Quick Thoughts

For Abram, Lot is his way of keeping his options open. In what ways am I trying to “keep my options open” when it comes to my life and my future? Meditate on Our Lady’s “fiat,”—her immediate “yes” without knowing all the details, or how everything would turnout.

Reflection

Pray with Mary’s response to the angel, announcing God’s plan for her life, and ask for the grace to make her prayer your own.

Day 5

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon John 20:29.

Quick Thoughts

For Abram, Lot is his way of keeping his options open. In what ways am I trying to “keep my options open” when it comes to my life and my future? Meditate on Our Lady’s “fiat,”—her immediate “yes” without knowing all the details, or how everything would turnout.

Reflection

Pray with Mary’s response to the angel, announcing God’s plan for her life, and ask for the grace to make her prayer your own.

Day 6

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Joshua 1:9.

Quick Thoughts

We know that God’s answer to Abram and to us is not necessarily “I will fix it,” but instead is always, “I am with you.” Every time we cry out to God in our suffering, this is His response; it is His answer to the problem of evil in the world.

Reflection

Spend some time in prayer for someone you know who is experiencing deep suffering right now and needs to feel the consolation of the Lord’s presence in that pain—that he or she may know He is “with you wherever you go.”

Day 7

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Jeremiah 29:13.

Quick Thoughts

After Abram lets go of Lot, he immediately encounters God again—for the first time since he left his homeland. When was the last time I had a deep and powerful encounter with God? Spend a few moments revisiting that time in your memory, thanking God for that experience.

Reflection

Ask God to help you open yourself up to more opportunities to encounter Him again.

Day 8

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Quick Thoughts

Last week, we prayed about our “Lot” in life—those plans and desires we cling to, instead of surrendering them to the Lord. However, this process of surrender does not happen overnight.

Reflection

Renew your desire to let go of these things for today, and trust that He will give you the grace to let go again tomorrow.

Day 9

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 130:5-8.

Quick Thoughts

God asks us, like Abraham and Sarah, to wait upon Him to act in our lives. This can be especially hard to do with our deepest desires, but in the meantime, we have hope because He is faithful.

Reflection

Invite the Holy Spirit to enter into the places of resistance in your heart. Ask for an increase of grace to wait and hope.

Day 10

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 1 Kings 8:54-61.

Quick Thoughts

Abraham’s readiness to give up his son reveals a changed heart. Where he once struggled to trust, he now knows God is faithful and is willing to let go of all he ever desired. Through this act of trust, all the world finds access to the covenant blessing. Recall the times God has changed your own heart.

Reflection Question

Where might God be asking me to turn my heart toward Him, to be “wholly true to the Lord,” so that “all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God”?

Day 11

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Luke 2:25-32.

Quick Thoughts

Abraham waited his whole life for his son, Isaac. In the Gospels, a man named Simeon was eagerly awaiting the “consolation of Israel”—the Messiah. God revealed that he would not see death before he saw the Christ.

Reflection Question

Where have I seen God’s salvation today? Do I eagerly wait for Him to act in my life? Am I looking for Him in my day?

Day 12

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 1 Kings 19:11-13.

Quick Thoughts

After Abram sins with Hagar, he does not hear God speak for another 13 years. This is the effect that sin can have on our souls: We lose the ability to hear God speak. It’s not necessarily because He has stopped speaking to us, but only that our sin keeps us from hearing Him.

Reflection Question

Where do I expect to hear God’s voice? Do I carve out a space of silence to hear Him throughout my day? Is there sin in my life that is keeping me from hearing God’s voice?

Day 13

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Hebrews 11:17-19.

Quick Thoughts

God will provide, Himself, the lamb. He does this for Abraham and for the whole Church. Reflect on the strength of faith Abraham showed—a man who, in the past, had been so slow to trust.

Reflection

Ask the Lord for the grace to believe that He will provide in your life.

Day 14

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Matthew 16:25-26.

Quick Thoughts

God asks us to give Him everything, but He does not necessarily take everything away. Oftentimes, He simply desires to see our own disposition of detachment. It was only when Abraham was willing to lose his son—the thing most precious to him—that the Father gives it back to him, and more: a new covenant, involving the redemption of the whole world.

Also, from Pope Benedict XVI:
“I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ—and you will find true life.”

Reflection

Ask for the confidence to believe that we will not lose ourselves in loving Him. If we surrender our lives to Christ Jesus, we will finally find who we truly are.

The Story of Salvation - Moses - Banner

Moses - One Nation

Day 1

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Galatians 4:28-5:1.

Quick Thoughts

The Israelites had been freed from their bondage in Egypt, but the slavery of sin still had its grip on them. The golden calf was, ultimately, their decision to choose slavery over the sonship they were created for. The difference between the slave and the son is that the son inherits.

Reflection Question

What is holding me back from fully embracing my identity as a son or daughter of God? In what ways is my own heart still in the bondage of sin? What are my idols? Ask for the grace to be freed from these things.

Day 2

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Romans 7:15-20.

Quick Thoughts

Do you ever feel that, even though you belong to God, the habits and customs around you slip into your own patterns of behavior? You’re not alone: St. Paul felt the same way.

Reflection Question

What are some good ways to safeguard against these tendencies—or, if necessary, rid myself of these habits?

Day 3

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 84:10.

Quick Thoughts

When Moses was on the mountain with God, the people quickly strayed from who they were called to be. Similarly, when we let long periods of time pass before returning to the presence of God in the sacraments, the same thing can happen to us. We forget who we are and the freedom of a life rooted in Christ. We quickly slip into idolatry, and oftentimes, our biggest idol is ourselves.

Reflection

The closer we stay to God’s presence, the more opportunities we give Him to fight the battle for us.

Day 4

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Isaiah 41:9-10.

Quick Thoughts

Sometimes, despite our faithfulness, we can go for long periods of time without feeling the consolations of God. Ask for patience to remain faithful during these times. Do not abandon your prayer time.

Reflection

Spend some time asking the Lord to increase your confidence that He is with you; He hears your prayers and is even now at work in your life.

Day 5

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 8:3-5.

Quick Thoughts

The children of Israel quickly rebel, even after seeing God’s mighty works and walking out of slavery through the parting of the Red Sea. Spend some time reflecting on the mighty works you’ve seen God do in your own life.

Reflection Question

How have I turned my back on God, even after seeing His work in my life? How can I respond now as His son or daughter?

Day 6

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Ephesians 6:13.

Quick Thoughts

Moses gives the people an opportunity to make a definitive choice in their lives, but only the Tribe of Levi responds. How has God been pulling me back to Himself, like Moses does with the people? How does He continue to call me away from sin? In what ways has God asked me to take a stand? Often, we need to make those turning points in our day, as well. How will I respond?

Reflection

Pray for courage!

Day 7

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Hebrews 12:1-2.

Quick Thoughts

God responds to the golden calf with strict ceremonial laws to remind the Hebrew people that they are set apart and to help them not fall back into sin. Jesus Christ came to set us free from the ceremonial law and restore us to sonship.

Reflection

Are there extra precautions that I need to take, even temporarily, so that I do not fall back into a life of sin? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

The Story of Salvation - David - Banner

David - One Kingdom

Day 1

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Psalm 51.

Quick Thoughts

David wrote this psalm after his conversation with Nathan. It is his honest acknowledgement of his sin and a plea for God’s mercy.

Reflection

Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas of your life that are in need of God’s healing and mercy.

Day 2

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 1 Samuel 16:7.

Quick Thoughts

God calls David as a young boy because He sees David’s virtue and strength of character. However, so often in our lives, we spend so much time and energy on our outward appearance—our reputations, our physical image, our athleticism. But the Lord is not concerned with these things; He looks upon our hearts.

Reflection

Spend some time asking the Lord what He sees when He looks upon your own heart. Commit to spending some time this week working on your interior life, not just the exterior.

Day 3

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 1 Peter 5:6-9.

Quick Thoughts

Like David, St. Peter also fell in a moment of weakness and temptation. Peter spent three years walking closely with Jesus, but when pressed at the charcoal fire outside the temple, he denies even knowing Him. Then, like David with Nathan, Peter is confronted with his fall: He meets Jesus on the shore after the resurrection, around another charcoal fire.

Reflection

In response to our sin, Jesus doesn’t ask how sorry we are or how capable we are; He asks whether we love Him. Love is the only requirement and the foundation of all true contrition. Put yourself in the gaze of the Lord, and ask for the gift of an increase in your love for Him.

Day 4

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon 2 Samuel 12:1-13.

Quick Thoughts

Part of David’s fall involves a failure to do his duty, beginning when he chooses to remain home while his men go to war. He faces another moment of choice with Bathsheba, and again with her husband, Uriah. Finally, he is given one last choice when he faces Nathan, the prophet, who confront him with the truth of his sin. It isn’t until this moment that David responds with integrity: “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Reflection Question

How can I practice integrity in my daily decisions? Reread and pray through Nathan’s conversation with David and ask the Lord for the grace of this integrity.

Day 5

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon John 8:31-32.

Quick Thoughts

Another part of David’s fall involves trying to protect his own reputation over and above the truth. When we fail to acknowledge the truth in our lives, however painful it may be, we become enslaved by our own self-deception.

Reflection

Ask the Lord for the courage to acknowledge the truth about who you really are. This is where confession becomes so vital: to be able to claim that truth, out loud, to the one who stands in the person of Christ—and then to be set free. If possible, plan to make a good confession this week.

Day 6

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon John 21:9-19.

Quick Thoughts

Like David, St. Peter also fell in a moment of weakness and temptation. Peter spent three years walking closely with Jesus, but when pressed at the charcoal fire outside the temple, he denies even knowing Him. Then, like David with Nathan, Peter is confronted with his fall: He meets Jesus on the shore after the resurrection, around another charcoal fire.

Reflection

In response to our sin, Jesus doesn’t ask how sorry we are or how capable we are; He asks whether we love Him. Love is the only requirement and the foundation of all true contrition. Put yourself in the gaze of the Lord, and ask for the gift of an increase in your love for Him.

Day 7

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Revelation 2:2-5.

Quick Thoughts

David’s fall is dramatic. As a young man, he bravely slays Goliath for his nation; as king, he kills one of his own men to cover up his adulterous acts. If it has been a while since we first encountered the Lord, it’s easy to let the zeal in our hearts grow cold, even if we still go through the motions of “holiness.” Despite all our good works, we can lose the love we had at first.

Reflection Question

Ask the Holy Spirit to renew the fire that once burned for the Lord in your heart. Are there any habits that I committed to but have stopped practicing? What small steps can I take to reclaim Christ as my first love?

The Story of Salvation - Jesus - Banner

Jesus - One Church

Day 1

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Catechism Paragraph 2567.

Quick Thoughts

In what ways have I sensed the Lord calling me to meet Him in prayer? The first step of prayer always begins by acknowledging this truth: “God loves me.” Keep this in mind as you consider the unfolding covenant drama within your heart.

Reflection

Ask our Lord what your place is within the history of salvation.

Day 2

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Philippians 2:5-8.

Quick Thoughts

In Christ Jesus, we see the Son who took on the form of our slavery and was punished for our sins. With gratitude, we pray for Christ’s same spirit of humility and obedience. The Greek word for “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving,” so it is good to recall this gratitude while you prepare to receive the Eucharist.

Reflection

Take some time now to thank Him for becoming our Passover—our freedom from slavery.

Day 3

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Isaiah 54:9-10.

Quick Thoughts

Throughout salvation history, we learn that God is good and faithful to His promises. What are some of the ways the Lord has shown His faithfulness in your life?

Reflection Question

How, specifically, have I experienced the Father’s compassion at work in my heart?

Day 4

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Hebrews 11.

Quick Thoughts

Some refer to this chapter as the Bible’s “Hall of Faith.” As you read through the chronicle of each person’s testimony of faith, consider what yours would be. What steps have I taken in faith?

Reflection Question

Having seen the fruits of God’s promise—namely, Jesus Christ—how do their stories inspire me?

Day 5

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Hebrews 12:7-11.

Quick Thoughts

In light of God’s fatherhood, how does my perception change when I consider the hardships I have had to endure? Many people attempt to use these hardships as evidence that God does not exist or that He is not good. But God, as a faithful father, will not allow your suffering to triumph over you. Instead, God uses those trials for the good of His sons and daughters.

Reflection

As you pray with this passage, ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in times of trial.

Day 6

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Isaiah 53.

Quick Thoughts

What stands out in this prophecy? How has Jesus borne my grief and carried my sorrows? In what ways have I gone astray like sheep? Spend some time in meditation on the scene of the crucifixion. What do I notice? Engage your senses: what do I hear, feel, and smell?

Reflection Question

What is Jesus saying to me from the cross?

Day 7

Lectio Divina

Click here to prayerfully reflect upon Revelation 22:12-17.

Quick Thoughts

Here, in the final words of Scripture, we are reminded that Jesus is the fulfillment of all things from the beginning of time: He is the first and the last, the offspring of David, the bright morning star. We wait in expectant hope and pray for His coming, when all things will be complete.

Reflection

With the understanding of all of salvation history behind us, take some time to reaffirm your desire for Him to make you a saint as we wait upon His return.

The FOCUS Team
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students is a Catholic collegiate outreach whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same.

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