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).
In a few weeks I am getting married, and one of the first things my fiancée and I began to plan together once we’d gotten engaged was our honeymoon. We knew that we would have to get to the important details around paperwork, marriage preparation, booking the caterer, looking for suits and dresses, and everything else that goes into planning for a wedding, but we couldn’t resist starting with planning our dream vacation together for after our wedding. One thing that I knew I did not want was to travel somewhere that I did not speak the language! Once when I was travelling with my class in high school we were in a country that only spoke Spanish, and although I didn’t know a single word, I did know a little bit of french. Well, French didn’t help me very much when our class was out at a restaurant and I confidently ordered dessert for myself and all the classmates at my table. The waiter looked at me funny, but I insisted I knew what I was doing. After a few minutes of waiting for our ice cream to arrive, the waiter dropped off four bowls of cream of cheese soup!
Few things are more frustrating than trying to communicate with somebody but not understanding the language. When I was young I often felt like me and my parents were speaking different languages, even though we were both speaking English. In my life, I often have a hard time understanding the way God is working, or what he is trying to say to me; it’s as if we’re speaking different languages.
I think that experience is what Nicodemus is going through with Jesus in the passage from today’s Gospel. No matter how much he tries to understand, it’s as if he and Jesus are just speaking different languages. Jesus says, “unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” and Nicodemus responds, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot re-enter his mother's womb.”
Nicodemus is speaking about the flesh, Jesus is speaking about the Spirit.
Nicodemus is speaking about what’s possible for man, Jesus is speaking about what’s possible with God.
Nicodemus is thinking terms of earthly, natural things, Jesus is trying to help him think in terms of heavenly, supernatural things.
Jesus is trying to show Nicodemus something we all need to be reminded of from time to time: Entering the kingdom of heaven is not natural, it’s supernatural. The salvation Jesus brings is a pure gift from God that totally exceeds our natural abilities. If you rely on yourself, your own wisdom, your strength, your intelligence, it can’t be done. If you rely on Jesus, all things are possible. By my own strength I stumble and fall easily and often, but with God’s strength I can accomplish great things.
Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Will you listen when He speaks? Will you let Him teach you a whole new way of thinking in His love, and a whole new language of love?
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.
Have you ever felt like God was speaking a different language to you? What did you do about it?
How can you better listen to God?
How can you listen and let God love you?
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.
"My sheep hear my voice."
"Help me love you Lord."
"Help me listen and understand."
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?
Do you know your love language? The love language tests helps you understand how you give and receive love. Take the test then pray about how you can use your new understanding to love God and others better.
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 Chris O'Hara, an evangelist in Canada.
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