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).
How great does eternal life sound? How great does perfect peace, happiness, fulfillment, and love sound? How about no sickness, suffering, or death? No more fighting, no gossip or sadness, no violence or pain. Only what is good remains. That sounds pretty nice to me. What makes it even better is that this life is actually available to each and every person.
God did not intend for us to have to deal with all the bad stuff we face in life. He never wanted us to get sick, feel jealous or hurt, endure physical or mental suffering, or even die at all. Each and every person, yourself included, is made for greatness. You are made to experience a perfect life, free from all suffering and death, that God planned for from the beginning. The only thing that holds anyone back from this perfection is sin. Sin is what turns us away from God and toward the bad things that harm us, like lies and violence. It causes pain, lies, suffering, and death, and keeps from the greatness of God.
Fear not, we have the solution to this sin problem. In Scripture, Christ calls Himself a physician, or a doctor. What do doctors do? Heal the sick, fix our problems. Well, humanity has this sin problem, but Christ gives us the spiritual medicine. Our medicine isn't a pill or anything from a bottle, it is the bread from Heaven. Jesus says in today’s Gospel that He is “the living bread that came down from Heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” What is this bread? It is Jesus’ “Flesh for the life of the world.”
Sin is what causes death, but Christ, the Bread from Heaven, is what causes and offers everlasting life. Jesus knows our pain and experienced it all, especially when He was scourged and crucified. But He didn’t just feel our pain, He offers us a solution to is. HE is the solution by freeing us from the effects of sin through the medicine of the Bread of Life. When we receive the Eucharist, “whoever believes has eternal life.” You receive this bread that Jesus is talking about in this Gospel. You receive His Flesh and that small, Heavenly bread sets you free from sin and opens the door to eternal life. The more of Jesus you receive, the closer you get to that everlasting peace, joy, and love with God.
All people can come and receive the Bread of Life. Anyone can come to know Jesus and accept His invitation to eternity in Heaven, free from all suffering and pain. You especially. Receive Christ into your heart and accept the life He wants to give you. Take your Heavenly medicine and accept the greatness you are made for.
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.
How would eternal life be different from the life you have now? What would your life be like without all the things that keep you from God, without all the lies and pain?
How have you experienced the Bread of Life? In what ways has Jesus helped you in your life through His presence in the Eucharist?
How do you receive the Eucharist? Do you receive Jesus during Mass as the gateway to eternity and everlasting happiness with the Father in Heaven?
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 need You."
"I want to receive 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?
Go to Mass early this week and pray about the Eucharist. In prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to help you more fully appreciate what is going on during the celebration of the Mass. Ask the Holy to help you understand that the Eucharist is the bread from Heaven, the Flesh of Christ that is given to you out of God's desire for you to have eternal life with Him.
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 Mary Griffin, a Senior Theology and Catechetics major at Franciscan University of Steubenville.