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).
All of us have taken a chemistry class at some point in our lives or at least will; probably even a biochemistry version. We’ve also been taught about nutrition, digestion, and the like. We learned how as material, living beings, our human bodies will begin to break down and eventually cease to function if we do not replenish it with food and drink. In this way, our bodies operate as other familiar physical systems that we all know, such as cars, planes, factories, etc. All of these require inputs of some form in order to function and produce their desired outputs.
Note though, that as humans we are blessed with a magnificently glorious distinction between our bodies and any other physical system … we are also an immortal soul. While the physical nature of our body requires water and wholesome foods as input to keep up our energy stores and maintain good physical health, our spiritual nature also profits from regular nourishment of its own.
We pray, we read Scripture, we go to Adoration, we perform acts of charity; all of these serve as inputs to our souls. There are many other spiritual exercises we can do as well, but no matter how earnestly we practice them, not one holds a candle to the ultimate spiritual food we have all been gifted in the Eucharist.
Adam and Eve permanently and forever separated our natures from God when they disobeyed Him in the Garden of Eden. We cannot begin to fathom the depth of sadness God must have felt when this happened. We could never repair the damage, either. Logically, in order for us to reconcile ourselves to the Perfect Being, we would require a perfect form of repentance, and a perfect form of atonement. As imperfect beings, we could never achieve this. That’s it. Game Over.
But … all glory be to God … with infinite mercy and love, God would not allow this separation to remain. He gave Himself. He sent us His beloved son Jesus to BE one of us, and stand perfectly in our place, and redress our sins against Him.
But before his mission was complete, Jesus left us the greatest nourishment we could ever conceive. He left us the gift of Himself in the Eucharist to feed our bodies and our souls simultaneously. We take the Eucharist into our bodies, and with all Catholics the world over, we absorb the True Food and True Drink of Jesus’ flesh into ourselves, and therefore can rejoice in the promise of eternal life that comes from the fact that we reside in Jesus, and He resides in us.
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 sat and thought about the nourishment your soul needs? Why do you think God chose to use the Eucharist as our necessary spiritual food?
Why are prayers and works of mercy alone not enough to feed our spiritual needs?
If original sin separated us from the Divinity of God, then it makes sense that we must receive Him fully to be reconciled. We have the benefit of 2,000 years of theology to help explain this, and it is still hard to comprehend sometimes. How would you have felt being a disciple in Jesus' time hearing these words? Why?
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.
"You are the Bread of Life."
"Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord."
"My Lord and my 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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Go to Mass. Receive the Eucharist. Every other form of prayer and good deed is good, but nothing compares to receiving our Lord in the Eucharist, every day is possible.
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 Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.