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 world will end one day. We might even be alive to see it happen. It could happen while you are reading this reflection. We don't know when, but the world will end. But even if we aren't around for to see the second coming of the Son of Man, we will certainly see Him when we die. When we see Him, He will judge us. His judgement will be loving, it will be merciful, but it will be fair. Ultimately, we will either go to heaven or hell.
Whenever we think about the end of the world, we picture chaos, violence, and terror. There is certainly a lot of scripture to back that view up. Jesus came quietly the first time, but the second time will be quite a bit louder.
I remember freaking out about this one day while I was in seminary. My friend and I were in our small seminary chapel by ourselves discussing the end of the world. When the end comes, either by my death or by the second coming of Jesus, would I be ready? Would I be weak under persecution? Would I fall to fear? Would I despair or hold on to hope? Would I witness to my God or would I deny Him? I was working myself into an anxious frenzy when all of a sudden my friend stopped me.
"Are you afraid of the end?" he asked.
"Yes, I guess I am."
"Well, are you afraid of Him?" he asked, pointing to the tabernacle. "Because the same person you are friends with, the same person you go to every day in prayer, the same person you meet in the Eucharist, He is the one who is coming. If you are freaking out about all of this, maybe you should talk more to Him."
Are you afraid of the tabernacle? Maybe we should be a bit more afraid. After all, fear is the beginning of wisdom. But love is the end of wisdom, and perfect love casts out all fear. How does our relationship with Jesus need to change so that when the end comes, we can greet our Lord, not with fear, but with 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 thought about how you will meet the same Jesus at the end of your earthly life that you meet in prayer and the Eucharist? How does this change your view of the end?
How can you let fear be the beginning of wisdom in your life?
How can you move from fear to love?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in You,"
"Come Holy Spirit."
"I love You, Lord."
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?
Spend some more time with Jesus. Let Him be your friend now, so you have nothing to fear when your earthly life is complete.
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Today’s Prayer was prepared by Fr. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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