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. There is no daily Mass today; therefore we are using a reading from the Easter Vigil, which does have different readings than Easter Sunday. There are 7 Old Testament Readings at the Easter Vigil. Today's Lectio Divina is on the 4th of those Old Testament Readings.
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).
Have you ever felt hurt and broken? Have you ever felt dejection, rejection, pain... hurt so unbearable that just the very thought of that person, place, thing, or situation filled you with a deep sadness that consumed you down to your core? I know I have. Often. Yet, the glory of Jesus Christ and the great glory and victory of our faith is that, far from consuming and bringing us down, this suffering is completed eclipsed by the glory of our Resurrected Lord who has taken our suffering and united it to Himself.
This is what we celebrate at Easter and throughout the Easter season: in your suffering and sin, Jesus has lifted you up, will never leave your side, and walks by you always: “Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you, nor my covenant of peace be shaken.” Jesus knows and loves you, and in the midst of suffering He has come to raise us up like kings and queens. He takes our hurt (“O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled”) unites it to Himself, and raises us up to a new life. This is the glory of the Resurrection, that “destruction cannot come near you”; that Jesus has won the victory for us over sin and suffering, and while we may hurt, nothing can be compared to the love that Jesus has for us. It is a love that is unfailing, unending, unconditional, and perfect, and the best part is: He gives it to us freely. This is the glory of the Resurrection: that Jesus loves you forever and always.
So what is it? What is the struggle in your life that seemingly cannot be overcome? As we honestly and earnestly unite these to the suffering of Jesus on the Cross, so too is He going to raise us up with Him. There is nothing to be afraid of. There is no suffering too big. This is the glory of the Resurrection: that Jesus has overcome it all and calls us continually to new and completely fulfilled life in Him.
Jesus promised it to us and His word is always true: “My love shall never leave you.” Let us run from the pain of the Cross to the Joy of the Resurrection!
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 those struggles that you need to unite to the Lord? Have you ever united any of these struggles with His pain before? If so, what was it like - did it help - how did you grow? If not, what is stopping you?
How would you have felt this day before Jesus rose? If you were one of the Apostles, how would you be able to stay hopeful in the midst of the uncertainty and fear this day would have brought?
Today is the bridge between the desert of Lent and the Joy of Easter... How has that journey been for you this year? How can you take today to be ready for Christ's Easter Joy?
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 I trust in You."
"Give me true hope."
"Help me live Your Easter Joy."
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?
If you can, go to the Easter Vigil tonight! Come celebrate the joyful Resurrection of Our Lord and all of our brothers and sisters who are joining the Church today! If you cannot make it, set aside some time to read and pray through all the readings today. Take some time to remember the journey that got you to Easter and thank God for His love and grace. And pray for all those becoming Catholic all around the world today!
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.