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 good things come to an end, and endings can be bittersweet. Today, the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, ends the months long journey which began on Ash Wednesday. Because of the pandemic, the journey feels longer.
In the first reading, Jesus says goodbye and returns to Heaven. It’s an emotional moment. One which reminds us not to take anything for granted. Jesus told the Apostles and his followers his time on earth was finite. On more than one occasion, those closest to him didn’t want to believe it.
It’s the cycle of life. What’s here today, may not be tomorrow. A painful lesson to live in the present; specially in the current reality of stay-at-home orders and closures. One day, my wife and I were having a conversation about it feels the shut down in Philadelphia is never ending. At that moment, I said, despite the feeling, I’m grateful to spend this time with her and our kids. I can’t say that I prayed for it to happen, but I’ll enjoy this blessing all the way to the end.
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 are some things you take for granted? How can you better appreciate the blessings around you?
Even though Jesus is no longer walking around on earth, what are some ways you still experienced his presence and love?
What are some blessings that God has brought about in your life through this time of the Pandemic?
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.
"Remain in my heart, Lord."
"Teach me to love."
"Let you will be done."
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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Brandon Hudson, a news reporter in Philadelphia, PA.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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