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).
Are you tired of talking about sheltering in place, the pandemic, and how strange this year has been?
When I read this passage my first thought was, “Of course there’s more… of course there is a reference in this passage about us being scattered to our own homes.” When I went back to reread the passage, I had to remind myself that Jesus was acknowledging how his disciples would react to his passion and death, not to allude to the quarantine that would happen in the year 2020.
As I let my mind and heart wander in reflection, I wondered if this quarantine would be the first thing that comes to mind when I read this passage again years from now. I’m not sure what will be on my mind and heart at that time, what will be relevant, or how deep these memories in the making will impact the rest of my life. What I do know is that praying with the bible will never get old.
The stories, experiences, teachings, revelations we relate to and understand what we read in the bible based on our knowledge, experiences, and state in life. Despite how many times I’ve read this passage before, never had I ever thought I could relate so literally to being “scattered” to my own home and “leaving Jesus alone” by not being able to physically receive the Eucharist. The bible may be unchanging, but our lives are not; each reflection we have with a passage could be drastically different every time.
I had a hard time in the beginning of college because my relationship with God seemed to be changing a lot. I thought I must have been doing something wrong since I couldn’t get back to the familiar kinds of experiences I had with God in high school. Eventually, I also realized that my relationships with friends and family were all changing too. My daily life was significantly different; of course my relationships were going to be different too! God may be unchanging, but we are not; our relationship with God will continue to change and develop.
Once we have the opportunity, it’s important that we don’t try to go back to “normal” on all counts since we and the world have changed so much. Instead, we need to be aware that God is likely leading us to something new! We don’t experience changes in life just to keep everything exactly the same.
Yes, there was a time when the disciples were scattered to their own homes, unsure what was happening, experiencing all sorts of unexpected changes. Jesus told them to have peace and take courage in His name. Life will continue to be more or less unexpected, reflections when reading the bible will continue to be more or less unexpected, our relationship with God will continue to be more or less unexpected.
Have peace and take courage.
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.
Have you heard this passage before? How did you relate to it then? How do you relate to it now?
What is a time your relationship with God changed? What about you changed? How did you grow your relationship with the Lord through that?
When we go back to normal, what lessons do you want to take with you?
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.
"Have peace and take courage."
"Be with me Lord."
"Lord I need 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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Katie LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
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.
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