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 invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.' The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms." -Pope Francis, Evangelii Guadium
I'm one of those people who is horrible with names. Often, I'll see a face that I recognize and have that familiar terror and embarrassment of realizing I have no idea what their name is. In my fear, I may quickly grab a friend to have a buffer in this encounter; to my shame, I'll often look away and just hope to avoid the humility of admitting I've forgotten. Sometimes, I'll even carry the whole conversation with them never admitting that I don't know their name.
There is a reason I'm so embarrassed when I forget a name. Names are central to who a person is - if you've met someone, you should remember their name. If you don't remember it, just admit that you don't remember it and ask it again until you do remember, because there is no reason not to just be humble in order to actual learn their name (I think that last paragraph is written mostly at myself, but maybe it's written at you, too).
Sometimes, after it's been a while since I've seen someone, I get excited because I think maybe they'll re-introduce themselves and I'll get off the hook for forgetting. I will get to encounter them as a person in a new way, almost as if it was for the first time, and maybe this time the encounter will stick. Often, it doesn't work like that - instead, they'll remind me that we have met, and tell me off for forgetting their name, but it's still the glimmer of hope because I really do want to know their name, I'm just bad at it.
Mary Magdalene certainly did not forget Jesus' name. In her agony, she thinks He is gone and doesn't know what to do. And then, it happens. Rabbouni! Jesus, risen from the dead, appears to her and she knows who He is. In this moment, looking at Him, Mary has a renewed encounter. This time, her encounter is not with the Jesus she had known before, but instead is with the Risen Jesus.
Pope Francis, in that quote above, reminds each of us that we are called to the same encounter that Mary had. Each day, never thinking we're above it or past it or done with it, we are to encounter Him anew. If we give Him the chance, in silence and in prayer, He will encounter us, and we, like Mary, will see the Lord.
After we've seen Him, just like Mary we'll have the chance to share Him with others. But first, before anything else, we need to encounter Him. To see Him. And to let Him see us.
"The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms."
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 does the idea of a personal encounter with the Lord mean to you? Have you ever had a personal encounter with Him? When?
How does the Lord most often speak to you? What are ways that you have had the chance to see Him and let Him see you recently?
How can you create more space in your daily life for the Lord to encounter you? How can you find silence and peace each day?
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 long to meet You."
"Show me Your Face."
"Help me walk towards 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?
Find a time today to be quiet and to let the Lord encounter you. Do this each day, continually encountering Him. Then, once you have let Him speak to you, find a way to share Him with others. Tell someone about your encounter with Him. Bring that joy to them, invite them to share in that joy with you.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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