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).
Christ’s death and resurrection is not the end of the story. This life we have on earth is not the end of our stories either. Christ is coming again with the final triumph over evil and the resurrection of the dead.
When Jesus came two thousand years ago, He opened the gates to Heaven for all those who live in and for Him, those who follow the Word of God and work for the glory of the Kingdom of God. He did so through His death and resurrection, which gave us a glimpse at our own eventual resurrection. Christ told us that not only has He risen again, but so will we! Death is not the end of the line, but the way we live will determine what our life after death will be like.
Christ revealed that death, the separation of body and soul, is still not the end of the line. He will come back to earth for His final triumph over evil. When this glorious day comes all sin, suffering, anything that is not good, will cease to exist. All souls who serve God will be reunited with their bodies and all who are still alive and serving God will get to partake in the glory of God too!
This is why Paul is calling on his brothers and sisters in Christ to hope. He is not saying grieving a loved one is bad, but do not grieve like you have no hope or act like that the person has ceased to exist. Live a life of faith, hope, and love! Jesus is coming again and wants to spend all eternity loving you, but it is your choice to love Him or not. The Lord’s mercy is never extinguished, and no sin is greater than His mercy. He desires that every person on this earth would choose Him, a life of love, joy, and peace that will be abundantly fulfilled in Heaven. That is not to say life will be without trial and struggle, but there is always joy and hope in the Lord. Therefore, do not give up hope. Pray for those who have passed away, that the Lord would welcome them into His Kingdom.
Live your life excited to be united to God and then to raise again in a world where no evil exists! When people pass away do not despair but pray and trust in the Lord’s mercy that you will be united in Christ again one day. God’s love is endless, so live a life animated by hope for the life with God that is to come!
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 you grieving over?
Where do you find hope?
What is your story? Where is God animating your story?
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 choose hope."
"I choose joy."
"I choose God."
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?
When you feel down or sad today, take a minute to remind yourself of the hope and joy found in today's first reading.
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.
Mary Griffin is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville.