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).
Two things stand out to me in today's Gospel from Matthew. The first is Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus on the way and being greeted with "Do not be afraid." What did they have to be afraid of? Was it the fact that Jesus, a man they just watch die, was speaking to them as if nothing ever happened? Was it that they were running from something already? Were they afraid for their lives?
I want to say that they were not afraid for their lives, but everyone knew they were members of Jesus' group. People were out to kill Jesus and all those associated with Him.
Which brings us to the second thing that stands out to me. The chief priests and the elders assembled to bribe the soldiers to tell a lie. They were scared that it would get out that Jesus had risen from the dead and was no longer in the tomb. We don't craft lies about events that no one will even believe happened.
So were Mary Magdalene and the other woman afraid because Jesus was risen or because they were scared they were going to be killed as well. I'd venture to say the second. Nevertheless, they persisted in believing that Jesus rose from the dead.
They declared the truth even when their lives were at risk.
Do I do the same? Is my life even at risk? Not my physical life, but how I'm seen, perceived, and looked upon by the world. Those areas of my life might be at risk for declaring that Jesus rose from the dead and He is alive in our midst.
So instead of believing the lie the chief priests and elders paid the soldiers to spread, let's embrace the message of Christ who says "Do not be afraid."
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 you afraid of? Invite Jesus into your fears.
How do you declare the wonder that Jesus rose? What limits you from telling everyone?
What lies do you believe? How can you turn away from 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.
"Be not afraid."
He is risen."
"He is alive!"
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?
Today, make a point of sharing your faith with someone. Don't just do a post on social media, but have a one-on-one conversation with someone and share how Jesus has impacted your life.
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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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.