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).
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
A lot has changed in the world in the past few weeks.
Many of us went from lighthearted times at work or school to social distancing in our homes. The regular activities that we might hope to do on a “stay-cation,” if you will – the gym, movie theater, restaurants – have been closed or options narrowed.
It’s hard to find toilet paper or hand sanitizer in the stores.
Most of us can’t even get to Sunday Mass at this time.
A lot has changed in the world in the past few weeks. This is our new norm – though hopefully just for the time being.
I was out to dinner with my family in Illinois about two weeks ago. The governor had just announced that all bars and restaurants would be closing the following day.
Our single-mother, in-night-college waitress was scared. She told us how she was going to have to file for unemployment. I remember thinking how bad I felt for her, and how grateful I was that I had a job where I could work remotely during this time of social distancing. My dad made sure to tip her well.
Just four days later I got some unexpected news: I was getting furloughed and forced to take an unpaid leave of absence at work while our company tries to stay afloat through coronavirus.
This past week, Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits has topped a record high 3.3 million.
Many are sick. Many are alone. Many are scared.
And, for many of us, the things we had that gave us comfort – time hanging out with friends, time in the adoration chapel, time at the gym – are not options right now.
Now is the time to cling to Jesus. I dare say that it is not ironic that this pandemic is exploding across the world during Lent.
Even if Jesus did not will this – He will use this time to bring us closer to Him if we let him.
To do that we need to mitigate the fear, mitigate the panic.
That is not to say that we shouldn’t be extremely safe, or cautious or concerned for our loved ones and their well-being. We should.
But it’s to say that we need to cling to Jesus during this time and He will give us what we need. He will bring us through this – somehow, someway – even though it may involve suffering and brokenheartedness. He promises to stay close.
He promises to protect every bone in our body – every breath in our lungs.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
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.
Are you feeling brokenhearted during this time? Have you turned to the Lord to provide for your needs?
What are the Scriptures saying to you today about the promises of the Lord and that He will be close to us?
Have you fed into fear and panic rather and peace and faith that the Lord will provide even when we are at home, away from the Sacraments, and waiting for a cure?
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 am brokenhearted."
"I am close to the Lord."
"Help me choose faith and peace over fear and panic."
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.
Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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.