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).
Happy feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross!
Today, we commemorate the founding of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church built over the spot where the cross was found, over the tomb Jesus was laid in, and over Golgotha, where he was crucified for our sins. I was blessed to go to the Holy Land and to pray at this Church many times during my trip. It is a large basilica and it is shared not just by Catholics, but also the Orthodox and by all Christians who pilgrimage there from around the world.
Towards the end of the trip, I began one of my last days with the sacrament of reconciliation. I confessed to the Lord all the ways that I have failed and that I have turned away from Him. After receiving absolution, and being freed of my sins, our pilgrimage group began what is known as the way of the cross. We walked in the footsteps of our Lord as He carried the cross for all the sins I had just confessed. The road was tight, Rocky and uphill as we journeyed towards the basilica. Our way of the cross ended with Mass in the basilica.
As Fr. Mike held up the host, it hit me. Jesus died for me. This fact, something I've been told and known, hit me in wave after wave. He died for me in the very spot to my right. He gave up His body for me, and then He did it again so I can receive Him in communion. In that moment, I knew how much Jesus loved me. How much He suffered for me. I had walked the path, stood where He fell, and touched where He was nailed to the cross. And I promised to not look at the Eucharist the same again.
That's how much we are all loved. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." Today, remember that you are so totally and completely loved that Jesus died on the cross for you.
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 does it mean that Jesus died on the cross for you?
If you truly believed and knew how deeply Jesus loved you, what would change about how you life your life?
How can you do a better job in your life of keeping in your mind the fact that Jesus died for love of you, in order to forgive you of your sins and bring you back to right relationship with God the Father?
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.
"Exalt in the cross."
"For God so loved the world."
"You love me."
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?
Find a crucifix or position yourself someone in your house where one is hanging. In silence, spend at least 5-10 minutes just looking at the cross, thanking God for his love and sitting in the power of his sacrifice on that cross.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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