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).
Out of all of the fears of the human heart, I would be bold enough to say that failure and rejection are two of the greatest fears we experience in our lifetime. Think about this for a moment! What is the reason why we are so afraid to do things such as ask someone out on a date, try out for a play, or to give a talk in front of others? We are afraid that we will fail or be rejected.
Friends, we can't deny the fact that we desire more than anything to love and be loved and accepted in return, so with the fear of failure and rejection comes the deeper fear that we will not be loved as we so desire.
In today's Gospel, the disciples of Jesus had just experienced this sense of failure. They had been out fishing all night and had caught nothing, not even a single fish. But then Jesus appears to them. At first they do not know that it is Him, but He challenges them. He challenges them to overcome their fear of failure and to cast their nets over the right side of the boat. He tells them without any ounce of doubt that they WILL find something.
The disciples do as He says, and what happens? They catch so many fish that they are not even able to pull it in.
Jesus proves in this moment in Scripture that what He says is true. He tells them they will find something if they do as He says, but their results far surpass what He had promised.
He shows us today that we should not be afraid of failure and rejection, but rather, that we should cast our nets, whatever that may mean in our own lives, over the side of our boats with the certainty that we will find more than we could ever hope for.
He has a plan for us, a plan not for our failure, but for our well-being. He fulfills our desire for love, because He has already proven His love for us through His suffering, death, and resurrection. He did all of that for us. He underwent the worst kind of rejection and failure so that we would not have to.
Today's psalm tells us that the stone rejected has become the cornerstone. Jesus was rejected by so many, to the point of humiliation and death on a cross. But He has become our cornerstone. He CONQUERED death. He conquered failure and rejection.
Why are we so afraid of failure? Why are we so afraid of rejection? If Jesus has called us to follow Him and be like Him, then shouldn't we be confident that we too can conquer these fears?
During this Easter season, live in a spirit of hope. He has called us to new life with Him. And if we follow Him and trust in what He has called us to do, then we will find even more than we could ever hope for.
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 in your life have you experienced the fear of failure or rejection?
What are you "fishing" for in life? Are you casting your nets on the wrong side of the boat?
Are you confident that Jesus has a plan for your life and for your well-being?
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.
"I will fear no evil."
"God is with me."
"Christ has conquered my fears."
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?
Allow God to conquer your fears today, and live in a spirit of hope.
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 Sarah Freddino, a FOCUS Missionary at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.