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).
God created us out of love, to be loved, and to love in return. This is the purpose for which we were created! But love is free. It is not something that is earned, but something that is freely given. Love is totally selfless because it is focused entirely on the good of the other. God loves us, and we know this because He created us even when He didn't have to. Think about it! He's GOD! He's perfect. He didn't need us, but He did want us.
And He desires for us to love Him in return, to give ourselves to Him. But would He ever force us to love Him? Absolutely not, because love is never out of force. This is why He gave us free will. At any moment, we could turn our backs on Him and say, "Sorry God, I know you created me to be in a relationship with you, but I'm not really feeling it." He gave us free will, because He wants us to CHOOSE to love Him in return. We don't have to love Him, but we ought to, because we owe Him our very lives. Without Him, we would be nothing. So we owe Him everything... But just like any loving father cannot force his children to love him, God does not force us to follow Him and love Him. He doesn't force us to follow His commandments, but He wants us to, because He knows that in following His commandments we find true joy and are truly free.
God created us to be in a relationship with Him. The Lord gives us commandments because they are our opportunity to show Him how much we love Him, but they also are an opportunity for us to love each other. And today, the Lord is giving us another commandment that makes us truly free to love. If we could succeed at only one thing in life, let it be love. If we could be known for only one thing when we pass away, let it be love. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for his friends... this Easter season we are reminded that Christ did just that. He laid down His life for us, and in doing so, He revealed to us what love truly is. His sacrifice was the most freely given gift of all. He was not forced to do it, but yet He CHOSE to do it because He loves every single one of us and desires for us to be in a relationship with Him. Through His sacrifice, through the laying down of His life, He set us free from the bondage of sin and death. We are no longer slaves, because of love. The Lord proved His love for us in that while we were still sinners, He died for us. He took on our slavery by becoming one of us, so that we might be truly free. He gave us EVERYTHING... now what will you give Him?
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.
How will you choose to use your freedom? Will you abuse it, and choose the bad? Or will you use your freedom rightly, and follow the Lord's commandments, freely laying down your life as a sacrifice for the Lord, and for others?
How will you love the Lord today? What do you wish to offer Him?
How has following Christ and His commandments brought you true joy and freedom?
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.
"There is no greater love."
"I lay down my life for you."
"You are my friend."
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 the opportunity today to love radically. Go above and beyond what you normally do to show love for God, your family, your friends, and strangers alike 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 Sarah Freddino, a FOCUS Missionary at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.