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).
"The Word of God is living and effective." (Heb 4:12) I have found this absolutely true and I want to testify to that truth in a story. I had a great opportunity to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville for College and I learned a lot of things there but one thing I learned was that Jesus Christ is present in the Scriptures, especially the Gospels. I never really understood that until one day about 5 years ago. I was in my second phase of becoming a Religious Sister called postulancy and often we would meet with our Formation director and have prayer experiences. This day we all were praying through scripture using Lectio Divina. Leticio Divina is quite simply what you do when you use Carpe Verbum, you Lectio (Read the scripture), Meditatio (Meditate on the word), Oratio (Pray through the questions offered) and Contemplatio (you listen and let God speak to you).
We were using the story of the rich young man who knew all the right answers but couldn’t leave his wealth behind to follow Jesus. Our Formation Director would read it out loud and we would jot down words or phrases from the passage that struck us. She read the passage aloud two times and I had jotted down some words. Right before she read the passage a third time, I heard a voice in my head say, “He’s coming…”, a little bit strange right. “Who was coming?” I answered back in my head, but within seconds of me asking, I already knew, it was JESUS! As soon as my Formation Director began to speak this ENORMOUS presence of Jesus entered the room with every word she spoke of Scripture. The presence of Jesus was so HUGE I was actually afraid and wanted to hide from Him, but then I found myself in total “AWE”. I didn’t see Jesus, but His presence filled the whole room and I could feel His presence just like I could feel the other sisters’ presence in the room. Only His presence was way bigger than anything I have ever felt.
This experience of Jesus lasted for probably only ten minutes, but it felt like a couple of hours. I remember thinking afterwards this is what Fr. Michael meant when he spoke of the Scripture: it is living and effective. It is living and effective because it is the person of Jesus Christ. Then so many things began to make sense, like why we say “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”, after the Gospel is read. This is why we have a liturgy of the Word and a liturgy of the Eucharist; we receive the person of Jesus Christ in both parts of the Sunday Liturgy. What you do when you pray with Carpe Verbum is so wildly important, because you encounter a person, Jesus Christ. Whether you feel Him like I did or not, He is there. Jesus is present right now, let your heart trust this truth! Come Lord Jesus!
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.
Have you ever experienced Jesus's presence? When? What was it like?
When you read the scripture, does it come alive to you? How has reading the scripture daily changed your life?
What can you do to put yourself more in the scriptures? Can you take the place of one of the people? Can you read it outloud? How can you make it come alive?
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.
"The Word of God is living and effective."
“Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”
"Jesus is present."
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?
At a different time today, open your Bible to a random passage. Sit with it, pray with it. Ask God to make it come alive for you.
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Today's reflection was prepared by Sr. Faustina Ferko is a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth and minister at St James in Arlington Heights, IL.
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