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).
Were you insanely encouraged and excited about today’s first reading? No? Then maybe you didn’t read it closely enough. After all, St. Paul even says at the end, “Console one another with these words.” So there must be something really comforting about this passage...
The people of Thessalonica were dealing with the death of their loved ones. Most of us can identify with this pain. Even if no one close to you has died, has a close friend every moved away from you or you from them? Have you ever been transferred to another school? Have you been separated from a friend when you ended up in different classes, clubs, or sports? It’s that sadness you feel in your gut that makes you think, “Will I ever see them again?” Or maybe, “Even if I see them again, it just won’t be the same.”
The Lord knows how we feel. And that’s why He’s coming back.
I’ve always been annoyed with the seemingly inspiring quote, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” True, the journey can be pretty amazing. But is it all about the journey? Nope. For us Catholics it really is about the destination. But I think we often forget that.
Here’s what’s so encouraging about today’s first reading...
It really is about the destination because the destination is unlike any joy you could possibly imagine! St. Paul paints a picture of the day when Jesus returns once and for all: The Second Coming. We will rise to new life along with all our friends and family who have died before us and after us who knew the Lord. We will all together be united forever with Christ. And it’s not just our souls that rise to new life, even get our bodies back! Which means this isn’t some literary device and we’re not just “kind of” there in heaven. No, we’re actually fully there.
One of my personal favorite and most consoling parts of heaven: no goodbyes. Ever again. We never have to fear being separated from our family, friends, and most importantly our Lord. For all eternity we will share with each other the ecstasy of being wholly united with God Himself.
So if you ever get discouraged by the journey, if you ever long to be with friends and family, then “console one another with these words.” Look forward to the day when we never have to say goodbye ever again.
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 goodbyes have you had to make throughout your life? How did the Lord console you in that time?
What do you focus on, the journey or the destination? How are you preparing for heaven today?
Heaven is our destination, what are you doing to prepare your hearts?
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 coming back."
"Heaven is my destination."
"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?
Jesus is coming back, but we are still able to spend time with Him now. Make it a point this week to spend some extra time in adoration or in front of the tabernacle.
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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 Dan Wolff, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinaire in Crystal Lake, IL.
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