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).
“The light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,”
As I read over and read over this Gospel passage, these are the words that have continually stood out. Last week, my small, quiet town was rocked by evil that came out, and you might have heard about it as our town was on national news. Parents reported their five year old missing. The community was in a frantic search for him, praying for him, only to have his parents be arrested after finding his body buried in a shallow grave in a field. More and more horrors about their house and his short life keep coming out, and we learned that evil had been hiding in plain sight, on this nice street that I drive down every day.
Our town is grieving for this boy most of only learned about after his disappearance. Many feel defeated by the evil acts that were committed. Many want to tear down the house where they took place.
But our parish priest, instead of running from the house and averting his eyes, as I have been so tempted to do, did something different. He went to the house. Armed with his prayer book and holy water. He said prayers to remove the evil from that place.
So often, the evil that is around us feels so crushing. All you have to do us turn on the news. It's easy to get overwhelmed by and to lose hope, but we are an Easter people. On Easter Sunday, Jesus defeated death. He defeated evil. He conquered hell and all the evil spirits. Our God is stronger than the evil hiding in our community. Our God does not hide, he is front and center and with us for every battle.
That is the lesson I learned from my priest. Evil, cannot hide when confronted by Christ. And Christ fights for us. He fought to the end. Brothers and sisters, evil does not win. Christ wins.
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.
Where is there darkness present in my life and in my world?
Where and how do I see the light overcoming that darkness?
How will I claim Christ's victory over sin and death and evil in my own life?
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.
"God so loved the world."
"The light shines in the darkness."
"The light came into the 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?
Claim Christ's victory over your own life today. Celebrate the triumph of the light over the darkness.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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