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).
“It is not good for the human person to be alone.” This past year has been isolating, disruptive and has caused separation, loss, and a sense of feeling, or actually being, alone. We have all experienced this foundational Scriptural truth about our humanity – that we are made for communion with others – because we have tasted the lack of it at times. But what kind of communion will nourish us? If we are honest with ourselves, the pandemic is not the only time we have been isolated or separated from others. This time of isolation forces us to taste a feeling that is not new, yet neither is it desired. In my experience, being surrounded by people does not guarantee that a feeling of loneliness or disconnection will be lifted – even among those that we love. It is not just being physically present with others that is a communion that nourishes us, but rather, as the Scripture writer reminds us, we are most nourished when we are with others in a transparent way and with whom we feel no shame. What does this mean?
One way of understanding shame is that it is a feeling of being bad, not good, unworthy, or even unlovable. Sometimes, others can make us feel this way, and, at other times, we can contribute to this feeling of ourselves. The presence of shame brings about self-isolation and a feeling of being unwanted by others. What is the vaccine for this kind of shame? Humility and vulnerability with both other humans and also with God in prayer and the Sacraments. Being with others ‘without shame’ is being with others with whom you can be vulnerable and transparent with and who recognize that your very being ‘is good.’ Genesis reminds us that this is what God thinks of all creation, especially humans. It is what Jesus reminds us God thinks of you and I, here and now, no matter how we feel about ourselves or what we have done. It is how we are called to be with others – communion without shame. Let us pray today regarding any experience or feelings of shame we may have. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to taste how much we are loved by him. Let us also pray for the courage to be vulnerable in healthy ways with others so as to begin to have a communion with others that is honest and without shame.
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.
Do I find myself simply able to rest in the Lord's presence? Why or why not?
What is something I want to boldly ask the Lord?
Where and how can I allow Jesus into my shame?
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.
"God is with us."
"Stay with the Lord."
"Christ is present."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Ask something bold of the Lord today.
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 reflection was written by Jon Polce, S.J.