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).
In the self-revelation of God in Scripture, there is no more important phrase than the one "I AM."
Remember back to the story of Moses in the Old Testament. After he was supposed to be killed, then rescued, raised in the Pharoah's house by his Hebrew mother, then had to run away because he killed a man, Moses is called by God in the burning bush to go to Pharoah. Remember this story? Moses, looking at and talking to a bush that was burning but not consumed by the fire, asks who he should tell Pharoah sent him when Pharoah asks. Moses knows that when he goes to Pharoah and says that God says to let His people go, Pharoah will legitimately have a question since "God" is not an easily definable term in those days. There are many gods, each of them with various names and character traits, and each meaning different things.
The name that God responds with is written usually as I AM. God tells Moses to tell Pharoah that the God "who is" is the one who sent him; this is not just a god, not one of the many false gods that the people know, but instead the very God who is, who creates all things and holds all things into existence. This, from this point on, becomes the name for God; it was written as YHWH, which we now see in our bibles usually as LORD in all caps in order to avoid using the Holy Name, as the Jews would have done. Sometimes, you might also see this name translated as Jehovah.
Why do we need to know all these things about the Name of God? We learn about His name because knowing God's name is central to knowing who He is, and knowing who He is becomes central to knowing who we are.
Then we meet Jesus. In this Gospel reading, the Disciples are at the Last Supper with Him, and Jesus is preparing them to know what will happen next. In order to be sure that they understand that He was and is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, He refers to Himself as I AM very particularly. Sometimes we ask ourselves the question of who God is to us - where is He in our lives, and what is He doing? That's a good question, but even before we can look at where He is in our lives we should pause to look at who He is. The way He revealed Himself is this: I AM who AM. All things that exist are in Him and through Him, and without Him nothing can be or will be.
In my life and yours, all existence depends on Him. He creates, and He sustains our existence, and without Him we would not be. Before we begin even looking at what God is doing in our lives, we must stop and be grateful for the very fact that we are, because God who IS creates and sustains our very existence. Then, just as with the Disciples, we can encounter Jesus, we can learn who He is, we can be sent by Him, we can receive those He sends, and we can learn to have our feet washed by Him and wash the feet of others; but first, we must BE, which we can only do because God is the great I AM.
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.
Who is God?
When have you encountered Jesus? What have you learned from that encounter?
Where is God in your life? What is He doing in your life?
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 depend on you, Lord."
"You are LORD."
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?
Take a few minutes today to just be, to be quiet and still without any noise or distractions. Feel God's presence with you in that moment and express your gratitude to Him for this life.
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 Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.