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).
I have a tendency of visualizing what is happening in the readings and trying to place myself there. This one was difficult for me, though, because I cannot imagine what it is like to witness someone be raised from the dead. My mind tells me that that is impossible! No doubt that the people in the funeral procession were greatly shocked by this miracle as well.
So what would it have been like to be the mother? The dead man? A person in the crowd?
In my own reflection, I am most drawn to the mother. Already a widow and her only son just died... unimaginable sorrow. How easy would it have been to be angry at God and question His plan or His presence?! Jesus came, but he was too late… it seemed.
At least for me, logic and emotion often get in the way of hope. I often wrongly assume God works within my rules of logic. If God had something specific in His plan for me, it should happen when it would make logical sense for it to happen. Like raising the dead man, if God wanted him to keep living, it would have made more sense to me for God to save the man from death before it happened. I think this way emotionally too. As the mother, that grief at the son’s death would have been greatly severe. If God was going to pity me, I would have expected Him to save me from that grief in the first place.
If this reading went either of my two proposed ways, would the mother, dead man, or people in the crowd (including us) all have been able to recognize, rejoice, and respond to God’s great love and mercy in the way that we did?
Hope requires neither logic nor emotion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God’s love and of incurring punishment.” (CCC 2090)
The beatific vision of God is perfect and far better than anything our “logical” or “emotional” minds could ever think up. Let’s stop trying to build hope out of earthly expectations. When you have your own “dreamed-up” expectations, surrender them to God. Tell God exactly what you want and leave them at the foot of the cross. Pray for openness to God’s beatific vision and a confident expectation of divine blessings. Pray for greater trust and love. Pray for genuine and authentic hope.
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.
Go back and read the reading again. How do you identify with the mother in the story?
Go back and read the reading again. How do you identify with the son in the story?
How can you find hope in God's promise today?
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.
"Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing."
"I pray for hope."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
Pray with all of your hopes and dreams today and give them to Jesus at the foot of the cross.
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 student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.