Step #1: Lectio / Read
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 today’s Gospel, Jesus is journeying to Jerusalem. He has reached a hill that overlooks the city, and as he looks out across the valley at the buildings and bustle ahead, he is pierced with such love for the place and its people that he begins to weep. He must know that this will be his last visit to this city full of people he loves, his last time to its Temple where he was presented at birth, where as a tween, he stayed to talk with elders and was lost to his parents, where he has worshipped and preached. Perhaps he senses not only that his own death is imminent – but knows that this city, in rejecting him, will eventually embrace a political rebellion that will spur the Romans to level it to the ground. “If only this day you knew what makes for peace!” he laments.
Our nation has just gone through a tumultuous election, and the divisions among us have come into stark focus. The worst of each side has publicly vilified, condemned, and sewn mistrust of the other. It has often been ugly, a cause for sorrow. If only we could know what makes for peace!
A yearning for peace can be a seed planted in us by God. And the path to this peace is found in Jesus’ last words on that hillside: we must “recognize the time of his visitation.”
Jesus was God-in-the-flesh who came to be with us, but most people completely missed it. They did not recognize him as God among them. Perhaps they could not imagine that the God of the universe could be so plain and unremarkable. Perhaps they were expecting God to come as a political savior who would reestablish the glory days of the kingdoms of David and Solomon.
Instead, God came as a carpenter, who traveled among people preaching that the kingdom of God was within and among them. Even today, the kingdom of God is within and among us. Jesus is present within our hearts, within our relationships, among our interactions with others. When we sense the sacred within others or ourselves, we are recognizing a “time of Jesus’ visitation.” Before we categorize each other by political party, by race, or by liberal or conservative – we are each first and foremost bearers of the Kingdom of God within. Each time we can look beyond categories and recognize Jesus’ “visitation” in each other, we are one step further along the path to peace.
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.
Where do I expect to find God?
Where do I actually find God?
Where am I yearning for and working towards peace?
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.
"Bring us peace."
"Heal our hearts."
"Show us the way."
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 time to recognize the sacred in others today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Liz Riegel, who lives in Cary, NC and has worked for the Church in various ministries settings.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.