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).
As I read today’s psalm, the image that comes to my Pope Francis a week ago giving a blessing to the empty St. Peter’s Square. I missed the actual service, but was enthralled by the images posted on social media and have watched the service since. (If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it here.) He walks up the altar constructed in silence and in the rain, humbly going to call out to the Lord on our behalf.
Pope Francis, united all Catholics around the world as he spoke for all of us in his petition asking our Lord to end the Coronavirus. He did what our psalmist today says: “In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.” He took all of our fears, our concerns and gave them to the Lord. And in doing so, Pope Francis points us back to Jesus.
What I see is not Pope Francis, but Jesus. Jesus shining forth and bringing His light to the world. Jesus has not abandoned us, rather is reminding us that we need Him. He is here now with us (even of this time of live-streamed Mass, spiritual communion and drive-thru confessions), Jesus is with us. Pope Francis used this very poignant moment to remind us that while we are caught off guard by this storm and we are scared, Jesus is seeking us. Jesus uses all to seek us out and to reach our hearts. Jesus, when we call on Him, as His disciples did in the gospel Pope Francis shared, reaches out because He has already saved us.
Call out to Jesus. He hears you. He hears our fears, our anxieties, our worries. He wants to speak to us in these moments. He wants to be our shelter, the place that we run to. Are you calling out to Him?
I want to end with the prayer Pope Francis offered for the world from the steps of St. Peter. “Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: ‘Do not be afraid’ (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, ‘cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us’ (cf. 1Pet 5:7).”
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.
Are you having trouble calling out to the Lord in your time of need?
As we enter Holy Week this weekend, how will you reach out to the Lord even more than before?
Where are you taking your worry and anxiety?
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.
"In my distress I call out to you Lord."
"Jesus hear my voice."
"Father have mercy on me and on the whole world."
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister turned fundraising planner in Bloomington, IL.
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.