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).
Have you ever thought about the fact that Christ was a real person? I think it is easy for us to see Him as a character in a book, or a nice idea, or even a good feeling. But have you thought about the fact that if you were born 2000 years ago in Jerusalem you could have met Him face to face?
I am a religion teacher, so there is never a day that goes by where I am not talking about Christ, but even then I find myself from time to time thinking of him as a concept to teach and not a person whom we can know.
I guess the reason I am saying all this is that I think the words “Jesus died for you” can sometimes lose it’s meaning or relevance to us. Which is horrible, but at times true. I think we can allow ourselves to see Christ as a character in a story and not a real person that died for us, or maybe we view him a good feeling we get after a retreat or a conference. However, as I read today’s Gospel I am reminded of the fact that Jesus was a very real person who walked this earth. He had hopes, dreams, desires, he laughed, he cried, and he suffered, just like you an me. He was a very real human, and yet I allow myself to forget that over and over again and He becomes just another concept to teach.
Today as you are fasting and reflecting on Christ’s passion and death, I would encourage you to do something small. Meditate on the word passion. Passion in this context is synonymous with suffering. This is actually the first meaning of the word. Yet, in our world today, when we hear this term (passion) I think we can have these thoughts of grand romance that is the furthest thing away from any kind of pain or suffering. Which is pretty funny considering that Christ’s passion, his suffering, was a grand romantic gesture to us. He was demonstrating just how much he loves you, and I mean YOU. There is this line in the Stations of the Cross we pray at school that says, “If you had been the only person in the world, Christ would have died just the same”. Jesus suffered and died for you, and that is not a nice feeling or a teaching concept. That is a fact, a truth, which is as true today as it was 2000 years ago. So, take some time today and reflect on Christ, and not just some nice idea of Him, but the fact that He is a very real person who loves you and died for you.
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 think of Jesus as a real person who is alive or as a concept that existed some time ago?
Am I giving my life up to Jesus as He gave His life on the cross? Or am I holding certain aspects are areas back?
Am I willing to tell others about how Jesus died on the cross for them? That He loves them so much He gave up His life for them?
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.
"Jesus is Real."
"Jesus died for me on the cross."
"I give my life to you."
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?
Along with the Church's fast requirements today of one regular sized meal and two smaller meals along with abstaining from meat, fast from noise for three hours today - the time Jesus spent on the cross. If you can do this from noon to three, try. Remember Christ on the cross. Remember that He is a real person who died because He loves you! Turn your phone on silent, do not disturb, or even airplane mode and spend quiet time reading the scriptures, praying the rosary, or even sitting in Church reflecting on how much He loves you. Tell Him how much you love Him.
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 Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.