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).
Today the Universal Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene, otherwise known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” She’s given this title because she was the first to witness the Risen Jesus and subsequently ran and told this good news to the Apostles. This great saint can teach us many things, including: urgency to share the good news, a deep love for the Lord, a heart of prayer, model for women, etc...But the primary quality she teaches us is metanoia, or a change in one’s mind, in other words, conversion.
In the Gospel today, we hear that when she was at the tomb of Jesus, a very simple yet profound gesture took place, “she turned around.” This common everyday movement implies much more than something external; it manifests an incredible interior reality, she was turning away from sin, darkness, confusion, anxiety, fear, doubt, or any sort of darkness and turning to face the light, Jesus Christ.
A quick image to reflect on regarding “turning around”...Imagine you are standing in a circle with twelve family and friends and Jesus stands in the middle pouring his light upon all. Picture it...everyone is facing the Light of the World, the one who can give us true peace and joy. If you decide to turn around and face outwards it will be only your shadow that you see. It will be dark and depressing, and maybe even scary, lonely, and fearful; the Light of Jesus will be behind you, your family and friends will be behind you, and you will only see some shadow of who you are.
My dear friends, our faith calls us to daily make an about face and “turn around” facing the Lord Jesus Christ and seeing truly who we are, sons and daughters of God.
St. Mary Magdalene teaches a great lesson today. We know she was a great sinner, but she “turned around” and faced the Lord. She faced the Lord and gave Him all her sins and she truly witnessed to the words of St. Paul, “the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” This is where Confession comes in for us, it is in the wonderful sacrament of God’s mercy where we turn away from the garbage and turn back facing Jesus to experience grace and newness of life.
Here’s the challenge: “turn around!” Turn away from sins, selfishness, impurity, darkness, shadows, fears, and face the Lord. How about it? Let’s follow the example of St. Mary Magdalene.
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 do I need to turn away from?
What keeps me from turning towards the light of Christ?
What can I do to put the darkness of sin behind me?
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.
“You are the light of the world.”
“You are my God and my Father.”
“I have seen the Lord.”
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?
Turn around and face the Lord today. Do so by turning away from sin and going to Confession soon.
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 Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.