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).
Saying goodbye is not an easy thing to do for many people. I absolutely stink at saying goodbye. Whether it’s a loved one who I won’t see for some time, a friend moving away, or even just leaving a party- I’m awful at saying goodbye even when I know I have to do it. Even harder for me is saying goodbye unexpectedly- I find that I stumble over my words, I’m not able to process what’s happening quickly enough, or I’m completely caught off guard with short notice.
Today’s Gospel reading shows us a little peek at the last night Jesus spent with his Apostles. Now, even though Jesus had been telling his Apostles about his eventual death, they are struggling to realize that the time has come for Jesus to leave them. Jesus tells them that where he is going, they cannot follow…yet. Think about how hard it would be to have to say goodbye to your best friend on such (seemingly) short notice! This was the place where many of the Apostles, and Peter in particular, were on that Holy Thursday night at the Last Supper.
It’s interesting to think that such strong relationships were built between the Apostles and disciples of Jesus. These men and women followed Jesus around from city to city for three years, learning from him, experiencing everything that came from his ministry. I think it’s so easy for us to not realize the deep human connection that these people had with Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Jesus doesn’t come from the same lens- we don’t get to physically be with him in his bodily form day after day, joking, laughing, touching, and experiencing him in the same way. A lot of times our relationship with him can become mechanic: pray, go to Mass, repeat.
This Holy Week is a great time to focus in on our relationship with Jesus. Today’s readings can help us ask the question, “would my relationship with Jesus be different if I were there on that Holy Thursday night?” If the answer is yes, find out why! What is keeping us from having the same panicked, scared, anxious reaction to Jesus’ Passion as the Apostles? What needs to change in the way we approach our relationship with Jesus to help us love him as the Apostles did?
Let today be a chance to not only reflect on these questions, but take the steps we need to in order to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
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 would you say to Jesus if you had to say goodbye at the Last Supper?
What does your relationship with Jesus look like right now?
How can you love Jesus more like the Apostles did?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"I love you, Lord."
"Teach me how to love you more deeply."
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 today in prayer to place yourself at the Last Supper. Think about what it would have been like and think about how it would change your relationship with the Lord.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.
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