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).
“When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment.”
Jesus is Risen! Alleluia, indeed He is Risen!
Happy Easter everybody. In this week’s readings, we see story after story of the early Church in the days that immediately followed the resurrection of Jesus. What happens after Jesus is risen? The Church receives the Holy Spirit and rises out of fear and uncertainty into boldness and mission, and in today’s first reading, we see a beggar rise and take his first steps into the temple to glorify God.
One of the best ways to pray with Scripture is to place yourself in the story. Here are four different ways you can imaginatively pray that you are there to witness this healing take place.
You can consider you are the beggar who is healed. Every day for years you have come to beg for what you need daily to survive. Your whole life you have been crippled: ignored by everybody, an outcast of society. And yet, the Scriptures tell us this man was confident in receiving mercy from others. He was “expecting to receive something” from the apostles. And when they prayed for his healing, he “leaped up, stood, and walked around.” What do you need healing from today? Are you willing to rejoice and walk into new life immediately?
You can also place yourself in the perspective of the apostles. Peter and John have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and go to find other Jews in the Temple to tell them about Jesus. They come upon this man and pity him. They don’t have any money to give him, but they have something much more precious; the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you recognize the great gift that you have within you as a disciple of the Risen Lord? Are you confident in the Gospel’s ability to heal emotional, spiritual, and even physical ailments?
Another option is to think of those who “carried and placed” this crippled man at the gate every day. Who were these people who faithfully brought him to the place where he could beg for his food? I imagine their motivation was to help him in any way that they could. Like the apostles, maybe they also said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you.” If you were them, how long would you continue bringing this man to the Temple before giving up on his healing? For those who you would like to be able to help materially but cannot, how can you love them just as they are?
And finally, you can consider those in the Temple who saw this healed man rejoicing. “They were filled with amazement and astonishment.” Maybe they’d seen him every day. Some showed him mercy, others ignored him. Nobody expected he could ever join them in the Temple. How would you greet this man? Would you join to celebrate with him, or would you doubt? What happens to your own faith in witnessing this?
God’s Word never stops giving. There are always more ways to listen to his Word in our hearts. The very God who authored this Scripture is the author of our lives, and the Scriptures are one of his favourite ways of speaking to us. Are you listening?
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 find or picture myself in today's reading?
How am I entering into newness of life in this season?
Where do I see miracles happening? How am I celebrating and rejoicing in those miracles today?
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.
"Rise and walk."
"Praise the Lord."
"Lord, fill me with amazement."
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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Chris O'Hara, an evangelist in Canada.
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.