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).
I was chatting with my Grandma the other day about one of the interesting effects of the current pandemic: attending mass online at new parishes. At her suggestion, I attended a mass with Pope Francis. It was wonderful celebration, with a narrator providing English translations for the homily, petitions, and such. The Pope was celebrating mass in a small chapel and took about 15 minutes after the consecration where he presented the Eucharist for adoration and personal prayer. It was truly an intimate encounter with God—all from my basement!
During the Pope’s homily, he expressed some beautiful words that I wanted to share prior to diving into today’s Gospel:
“It’s not easy to let oneself be consoled by the Lord. Often, in bad moments, we get angry with the Lord and we don’t let Him come and speak to us this way, with this gentleness, with this closeness, with this meekness, with this truth and with this hope. Let us ask for the grace to allow ourselves to be consoled by the Lord. The Lord’s consolation is truthful and doesn’t deceive. It’s not anesthesia, no, but it’s close, it’s truthful and it opens to us the doors of hope.”
Today’s Gospel passage comes from the Gospel of John. I’ve heard it said that one central theme to the Gospel of John is Jesus revealing the Father’s love to the world. Today’s passage reads “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower…I am the vine and you are the branches.” Through Jesus, we are connected to the vine grower—the Father. The Gospel goes on to explain how this relationship manifests itself in our daily lives. If we accept Jesus and unite ourselves to him, our lives bear fruit. Bearing good fruit then glorifies the Father, again showing the interconnection of the relationship.
As we enter into prayer, let’s first allow us to draw close to Jesus and accept his consolation. Then as we unite ourselves to him, let’s reflect on how our lives can bear good fruit, which will glorify the Father.
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.
Do I find it difficult to accept the Lord's consolation?
What part of my life needs the Lord's consolation?
How can I bear good fruit in our lives?
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.
"Connect me to the Father."
"You are the vine."
"Bear much fruit."
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.
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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 Liam Brady, an accountant in Chicago.
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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