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 we are celebrating the Lord's Supper. Jesus and the disciples were celebrating the Passover at what we now call the Lord's Supper, and what Jesus did was radical. He offered His body and His blood for not only the disciples, but for all mankind to eat, drink and be saved. Jesus also shows us what it is to be great: loving service.
The Jews never consumed the blood of another animal. It was believed that consuming the blood would make you like that thing. So if you ate a lamb and consumed some of its blood as your were eating, you would become more like a lamb, more like an animal. So when Jesus offers His body and blood, He is making us more like Him. He offers us a share in His divine life so that we can know the Father and spend eternal life with Him. Each time you receive the Eucharist, you receive Jesus who purifies and nourishes your soul and makes you more like Him.
We know that Jesus is great and mighty; He's God who came to earth, suffered, died, and rose from the dead all out of love! However, tonight's Gospel also shows us that Jesus was not full of pride, He does not seek to rule like a dictator but to serve. Jesus is the single greatest human (who is also divine) to walk the earth. And what does He do? He washes the feet of the disciples. Imagine God washing your feet. The one who created the universe, who created you, who loves you so much that He suffered death on a cross, washing your dirty and smelly feet. Why does He do it? Why does the Master put Himself in the role of a servant? Because He loves us so much and we are to follow His example. He shows us what true greatness is: service out of love for neighbor. We are love and live as servants who seek to help those around us. Not to be weak pushovers, but to be those who seek and do what is best for others out of our love for God.
What Jesus does at the Lord's Supper is wild. He completely offers Himself to us so that we might be more like Him and receive spiritual life. This is HUGE and we so often can take this radically amazing reality for granted. Jesus offers Himself in humility to His disciples as He washes their feet, and to all of us as He suffered and died on the cross. Jesus calls us to model ourselves after Him, to humbly and lovingly serve those around us and to offer our lives to God. Today is the first day of the Triduum where we begin the great celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. As we move towards Easter, follow His humble and loving example and recognize the gift that Jesus is offering to us still today: His whole self for our eternal life.
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 do you see the Eucharist? How can you grow in your appreciation of it?
How do you see Jesus? Do you see Him as a loving servant? How can you follow His example of love?
What can you do these next few days leading up to Easter to really grasp what Jesus does on the Cross and to prepare yourself for the celebration of the Resurrection?
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 need you, Lord."
"Help me follow you."
"Thank you, Jesus."
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?
Tonight, go to Mass and celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Listen to the readings and open your heart to seeing what Jesus did for us at that night. When you receive the Eucharist, ask the Lord for His help in growing in love and understanding of His mysteries.
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 Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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