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).
Today’s gospel passage should sound very familiar to you. Whether or not you are familiar with the actual text, the chapter number and verse have become quite popular over the years. You’ll be hard pressed to find a professional sporting event that does not have some fan in the background holding a sign reading “JOHN 3:16”. Because of this very reason, I have become very complacent with this verse, viewing it more as a TV stunt than anything else; the reality of what this verse talks about, though, cannot be overlooked!
Jesus has never been clearer than he is right here in John’s Gospel. How do we gain eternal life? We have to believe in Him and the sacrifice He made for us.
But even more than that part, I would like to draw our attention to the second half of the gospel passage, where Jesus brings to the forefront the imagery of light. Light. Light is something we experience every single day. Jesus says that evil stays in the darkness, while truth lives in the light.
Where do you fall? Are you choosing to stay in your own darkness because it is easier than committing to the light?
Sometimes, that first step from darkness into light can be the hardest step to make.
As we start this new day, as we experience the first light coming through our window curtains, or as we open our front door and catch a first glimpse of the rising sun, let us acknowledge the true presence of Christ before us, and re-commit ourselves to living in the light of Christ. Let us recommit to living in the truth that Jesus came into this world to die for us, so that we may live eternally with Him in heaven.
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 do you think of when you hear this Gospel verse? How does God speak to you about His salvation today if you believe in and follow Jesus Christ?
Where does God want to shine His light in your life? Think of those places that have a lot of darkness in your life right now. Don't dwell on them, but call them to mind. How can you give them to the Lord and let His light shine in those places?
What practical steps can you take right now to bring light into darkness in your life? Not just asking God for His help, which you need to do, but also having the conversations or taking the steps that need to happen in order for His light to brightly sine.
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.
"Let Your light shine."
"You love me."
"I choose Your light."
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?
Think back to those steps in the Oratio stage today that you prayed about taking in order to let God's light in. Choose one of them, and take the practical step. Maybe it's sharing with a parent, youth minister, priest, or other trusted adult something you're struggling with you need help with. Maybe it's changing your routine or plans in order to pray. Maybe it's being willing not to put yourself back in a situation where you fall into sin. Whatever it is, take a practical step to choose light over darkness.
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 Connor Flanagan, a Youth Minister and Catholic Musician who lives in St. Paul, MN.