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).
Growing up as the youngest child, I greatly appreciated not having to be the “first one” to do new things. Maybe I was just weird and insecure, but I loved following in my sister’s footsteps. I felt confident going into each new grade, trying out for the sports teams, and auditioning for the school concert band because I watched her do all of that and thrive. Whenever I felt overwhelmed or uncertain, I had her not only as an example but also as someone who understood the experience firsthand and could be with me in it.
As St. Paul pointed out in this letter to the Colossians, Jesus is “the beginning, the firstborn from the dead”. He did it all first. Jesus opened the gates of Heaven and showed us the one true way of getting there. As he took up his cross and walked the road to Calvary, Jesus laid out the narrow path to Heaven and walked it himself. Although Jesus is fully God, he is also fully human, and he did not take some sort of divine pass out of the unpleasant human experiences along the path. He understands. He knows.
Jesus experienced grief and sorrow as he wept over the death of his friend, Lazarus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked God the Father for the cup of suffering to pass because he had the natural human desire to avoid pain. On the cross, Jesus even felt abandoned by God and cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
People have often encouraged me to turn to God in the midst of suffering, but I sometimes struggled with the idea of God being “invisible”. I wondered “How could someone who is invisible understand or care about my difficulties, especially when I even feel alone when I have people physically around or involved in my life?”
“Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”
When we gaze upon the crucifix and unite our sufferings with Christ, we are reminded that God not only became visible to us, but he experiences even our greatest sufferings with us. In a small way, when we unite our sufferings to the cross, we share in Christ’s sufferings with him too.
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Jesus is before you, and in him you are held together.
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 you prefer to follow in someone's footsteps or be the first to do things?
Do you have trouble turning to God in the midst of your suffering because of his invisible nature?
Do you find comfort in seeing Jesus on the cross, knowing that He was a human man who inserted himself into the history of the world?
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.
"I have faith that you are here God."
"Hold me together in your love."
"Lead me along the path you created."
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 the same way that God is invisible to us most of the time, the love we have for others is invisible. Do something today to show your love to your family, friends, or neighbor? This might be helping someone with their yard work, emptying the dishwasher, cooking dinner, or being a listening ear.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
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