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).
We hear one of the most beloved Scripture verses in our Gospel today: “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). I have rattled this verse off many times to friends, to myself, to strangers in conversations, but I haven’t taken a long time to really be convicted by this verse. God loved the world, each individual unique human with immense dignity, so much that He sent His son not so that we would perish from our sins, but so that our sins would be forgiven and we could take our place in His Kingdom for all eternity. Whoa!
Something we can keep in mind throughout our prayers today is the fact that God loves the world. He wants what is best for the world. He desires goodness and health for our world and all of His children. Although it feels like our world is upside down currently - His longing for us to go to Him has not altered.
We’ve experienced possibly our first virtual Triduum and Easter. And although this has been such a bizarre and difficult time for us as a universal Church, we are reminded that His deep love for us has not changed. It will not change. Our physical location of prayer and worship has changed. Perhaps the prayers we used to mumble have changed into a deeper meaning for us. The Lord conquering death and rising again so that we may be united with Him in eternity has definitely NOT changed this year!
How can we fix our eyes on our eternal home right now?
With so much emphasis the past few months on fear, anxieties, and the real reality of the severity of this virus- we must also speak, act, and respond remembering that we are Easter people who live the truth that all may have eternal life in Christ! We can tangibly receive the Lord today, not in His physical presence, but in His grace, through a spiritual communion right NOW! This increased hunger in us to attend the Sacraments again, is adding to our sanctification if we allow it. In our struggles to focus on prayer, or live like we remember that “God so loved the world,” we can choose hope over despair, we can try for a few moments to listen to the Lord’s voice in our virtual day, and we can confidently know that in the face of uncertainties, we will not perish for He is with us.
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 can I fix my eyes on heaven right now?
How have I experienced the love of God in a powerful way?
Where have I grown in my confidence and convictions of God's love?
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 love you, Lord."
"God is with me."
"Jesus loves me."
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 Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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.