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).
Part of our human existence is the fact that life in this world does come to an end. That's what we were reminded of on Ash Wednesday. “Remember you are from dust and to dust you shall return.” Lent is a time to be praying with just that. We're not made for this world.
Sounds a bit depressing right? Scary even? But it's not. It shouldn't be scary if we really truly believe what today's first reading says:
“Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them.”
We don't belong here. We belong in heaven.
We are promised the Resurrection. We are promised eternal life. And God keeps His promises to us. We will rise again. But do we really live as though we believe these words?
Death shouldn't be something we fear or run away from. There's not a better example of this than St. John Paul II, and he died twelve years ago today. His entire life is an example of living the phrase he said constantly, “Be not afraid.” He didn't let the fear of death stop him from studying for the priesthood under Nazi occupation. He didn't let fear of death stop him when he was a priest and bishop under communist Russia. He responded with forgiveness and mercy after a man shot him in St. Peter’s square, instead of out of fear of death. Finally, he let the world watch on tv as he died from Parkinson's. He died with dignity, and he died with the promise of eternal life.
But to have that promise of eternal life, we have to work towards it every day. You won't just decide at the very end of your life that you want to be with God. You're making that choice daily. It's in choosing to pray every day. To share the Gospel and the joy of the Resurrection. If death is nothing to fear, why do we keep that to ourselves?
We're only two weeks away from Easter Sunday, when God fulfilled all of His promises to each of us. The graves will be opened and we will rise.
Do you believe in the promises of God?
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 does the story of St. John Paul II's life teach you about how to approach the idea of death?
As we work towards Easter, what does the hope and the promise that we will rise mean to your life? How can you grow in your certainty and trust in the promise of the Resurrection?
What promises does God make to you? Spend a few moments reflecting on those promises and asking for the grace to trust in them.
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.
"We will rise."
"Your promises are true."
"I trust 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?
Share the joy and the hope of the Resurrection with someone today. Challenge yourself to have the joy that the promise of rising from the dead brings you, and find a way to tell someone new about that joy and that hope.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.