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).
“My Lord and my God!” These famous words resound today on the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. Thomas has traced his way through history with quite the nickname: Doubting Thomas. Today, on his feast, we look at the Gospel that gave Thomas his doubting title, but instead of giving us a chance to poke fun, there is something for us to learn.
So many times in my life I have been faced with doubt. So many times I haven’t gotten exactly what it is that I wanted from the Lord, or He hasn’t spoken to me clearly enough for me to be certain of His will. Countless times I’ve said that the Lord needs to show me that He’s real, He needs to show me that I can count on Him, believe in Him, trust in Him, and follow Him! Why, oh why, would you make it so hard to believe, Lord? Why do I have a heart that at times is shadowed by doubt in you?
But, in fact, the Lord has shown me time and again that He is my Lord and my God. He’s shown me through his Word - the beautiful Scriptures that I’ve been hearing proclaimed my whole life - through the miraculous gifts that are my family, friends, job, and health. He has shown me that He is my Lord and my God through answering the shallowest and the deepest of my prayers. He has provided for me time and again when it seemed like it wasn’t possible. But, like Thomas, I’m so quick to forget to be grateful for all of these good things and doubt creeps in. Instead of looking to the good and the countless times that God has proven His love for me, I get caught up in the doubt and the fear that I am putting my faith in something that may not be real. It is in these moments of defeat, doubt, fear, anxiety, indecision, and hesitation that I, like Thomas, put the Lord to the test.
Like Thomas, in the face of others who have had such faith and such certainty in the Lord, I feel insecure and I try to test the Lord. I need to see the marks in his side and hands and feet to be sure that this is all real, to make sure this is worth it, to make sure I’m not crazy. And so often, the Lord does to me what he did to Thomas: He shows up in my midst, with no explanation and no warning, and He simply loves me. If I could only recognize and be grateful for the Lord’s continual presence in my life, and His continual provision for me, I know that the doubt and insecurity would begin to fade away.
Take some time to be grateful today. Take some time to look at the moments in your life of love and provision from the Lord and be grateful instead of doubtful.
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 are some reasons that you sometimes struggle with doubt? If you don't often struggle with doubt, what do you think it is that keeps you from doubting?
When are some moments in your life that God has been present, showing His love and providing for you?
What are you grateful for?
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 love me."
"You provide for me."
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?
At least 3 times today, pause to thank the Lord for some direct blessing He has given you. Maybe it's a great conversation, a delicious meal, a quiet moment of prayer; whatever it is, stop and tell Him you are grateful and you believe that He is truly present.
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, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.