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 is the Monday of Holy Week, and we are beginning on this journey to Calvary with Christ. On the way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, Christ and His Apostles stop in Bethany to see His friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. These three have shown up in scripture on several occasions and we know they are all very close personal friends of Christ. It only makes sense that Christ would want to visit these friends one last time before His passion and death.
While they are all at dinner Mary does something strange, she anoints Christ’s feet with really nice oil. Whenever someone is anointed in scripture there is always a deeply symbolic and spiritual thing that takes place. It was very common in the days of Christ to anoint someone as part of their burial ritual as a way of bestowing blessing them. In our world today when I think of anointing I immediately think of the sacrament of anointing of the sick; which is a sacrament that can be given to those who are close to death as a way of preparing them for their death, by giving them the grace they need to die in friendship with God. Knowing what we know about the sacrament and what is about to happen to Christ we can start making some really interesting connections. Christ in today’s Gospel is being prepared for his death by receiving this anointing from Mary. This anointing is not something Christ needs, we need God’s grace and help, but Christ is God, so he doesn’t need it in the same way you or I do. However, He once again brings Himself down to our level and shows the importance of needing God’s grace and help especially in our most difficult times.
This Holy week might be a really difficult one for you. Maybe you are really having a hard time entering into this liturgical moment, I know that I am. Maybe you have completely screwed up your Lenten sacrifice, or maybe that sacrifice was no longer an option to you because of COVID-19. Regardless of all of that, we should look to Christ in today’s Gospel and ask ourselves how can I be more prepared for Christ’s passion, death, and Resurrection?
I challenge you this week, to find some additional sacrifices or good works that you can do for God and your family. Do something different this week, allow yourself to recognize that although everything might feel the same as it has been for the past couple of weeks, this week is different. This week is Holy Week.
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.
Do you have a plan in place to prepare for Good Friday? If so what is it?
How has this lent been for you? Be honest with yourself, how has your faith changed?
Are you ready to let Jesus into your heart?
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.
"Lord I need you."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Lord, prepare my heart."
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 Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.
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.