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 feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle. I am sure that if I were to ask you to name one thing about this particular Apostle it would be this Gospel story that you just prayed with, and the fact that he is often known as “Doubting Thomas.” I love this particular passage and have prayed with it many times. It often speaks to me in ways that cause me to look at my own doubts and areas which I lack of faith, and ultimately go to the Lord and ask for help in those specific areas. However, this time I realized something about Thomas, I do not think that Thomas is just guilty of having little faith. I think that what Thomas was really struggling with in this passage was stubbornness. This is also a trait that I can relate to and I am sure you can, too. Thomas did not just lack faith, but we have to remember that it was not just one or even two people telling him that Christ was in fact risen, but there were also many people who saw the Resurrected Christ not only that time, but other times as well. Yet, he refused to believe them. To me, that is not just lack of faith, that is outright stubbornness.
Stubbornness is a trait that I can relate to well; not only in my day to day life, but in my spiritual life. My stubbornness of faith usually involves God very clearly telling me something in prayer and I just brush it off and tell myself that I need to keep praying about it until God makes his answer more clear. When we are being stubborn with God I can think of no better image than that of a parent with their young child. For example, when a parent so clearly and plainly articulates something to their child, who gives them nothing but a blank stare of utter confusion back. We are like those little children who are just blankly staring back at God after he so clearly tells us something. Unlike our earthly parents, however, God never tires of patiently finding new ways to help us understand his will for our lives. This is really one of the best parts about God in our own lives and in the story of Thomas. If God wants us to know something or do something, He will relentlessly pursue us, just like with Thomas. Jesus could have shown up and been mad with him, He could have told him that he was unfit to be a leader in His church, but He didn't. Instead, he met Thomas where he was at, meaning that he communicated to him in a way that Thomas would best understand, which in turn helped Thomas not only grow in faith, but also develop more fully his personal relationship with Christ.
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 doubts do I have in my relationship with God?
How can I be stubborn when God is speaking to me?
In what ways is God patiently loving me despite my stubbornness?
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.
"Thank you for being patient with me."
"Lord, I believe, help my unbelief."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
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 to pray with God about your doubts. Be honest with Him and invite the Holy Spirit to work in your heart to help assuage your doubts!
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.
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