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’s First Reading hit me hard. It’s difficult to explain exactly how I feel right now in the midst of everything going on in the world. There are so many challenges facing all of us and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all of the change, restriction, fear, and anxiety. Jeremiah starting off by saying, “Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest…” feels a lot like how my heart begins prayer these days. Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean.
However, I find so much honesty and hope in Jeremiah’s words, not just the dramatic sorrow. Israel was at a point similar to ours when Jeremiah was prophesying these words; they may not have been facing a pandemic like we are, but they were in just as tough of a place. Their whole lives were taken away when they were brought into exile, their Temple destroyed, they were removed from their land. “We wait for peace, to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.” I feel these words on a deep level, as you probably do, too. When, oh when, Lord will you end the struggle and bring us back to a time of joy and feasting? When will life get back to how it once was?
What overwhelms me the most is that in the midst of such terror, Jeremiah holds true to the promises of God. He begs the Lord to remember his covenant, his promise, to his people—a promise of a good future, full of prosperity and joy. Many of us know Jeremiah for verse 29:11, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you…plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” The same God who allowed Israel to experience such awful circumstances is the same God who keeps his promise of what is to come. Just so, the God who is allowing us to experience our current tribulations is the same God who will reaffirm his covenant to us—that we are not abandoned and he has plans for our welfare and a future of hope.
Let us be as bold as Jeremiah today in telling the Lord how we are actually feeling in the midst of our current tribulations, but let us also have the same boldness to proclaim God’s fidelity to his promise. We are not abandoned, but are waiting with joyful hope for what God has in store for our future—plans of welfare and not for woe.
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.
How am I honestly feeling in light of everything going on in the world right now? How does it lead me to despair or hope?
In what ways is God trying to increase my hope for the future?
When in my life has God kept his promises to me? How did he do so?
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 myhope."
"I trust in your plans for my life."
"Hear the cry of my heart."
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?
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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.