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).
Today is the day we look upon the Cross- our Savior broken, bruised, and dead. The paradox of “Good” Friday is so striking. How can a day be good when it is marked by such suffering, loss, and grief? There hangs Jesus of Nazareth, teacher, healer, lover, friend, expelled from this world and gone to those who love him. The loss is striking, the sting of death is sharp and deep, and our hearts are broken with that of all who stood on Calvary and saw their teacher breathe his last. But, somehow, this is a good day.
We know the story. We have seen the final act. We recognize that this day is only good because we have heard the good news of the third day, the day that Jesus rose in triumph over the works of evil and death. The sharp sting of death is no longer, the bitterness of suffering is redeemed, and we are offered salvation by the forgiveness of our sins. This Friday is good because it is only the middle act of the story, and the final act brings an end that transcends our human understanding. When we look at the Cross, seeing defeat and triumph coexisting in a beautiful mystery, we see the revelation of our hope. It is by the holy cross that Jesus has redeemed the world, pouring out grace upon grace, and revealing the depths of his mercy for us.
However, even in light of all of this, the power that Good Friday can have in our lives depends, in part, on us. If we live in fear, bondage, and slavery to our sin, the Cross remains as it did today- a sign of defeat, weakness, and failure. If we continue to sit back and let life pass us by while drawing us in to worldly pursuits and pleasures, never living in the mercy that God pours into our hearts, we live in the middle act of the story and never experience fullness and abundant life. But, if we choose to live as children of God, cutting sin out of our lives by the grace of God and our pursuit of holiness, the power of Good Friday will carry us. If we understand that the Cross truly is the sign of our salvation and a sign of victory, and we choose to approach the throne of grace with confidence, as St. Paul encourages us to, we will truly experience the abundant life that God has promised us, through Jesus Christ.
Today, in the midst of everything that is happening in life, look upon the Cross, where Jesus Christ hangs, and let the power of Christ’s sacrifice take root in your life. Let your heart, your mind, and your life cry out, “I adore You, O Christ, and I praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.”
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 you have difficulty in seeing this day as Good?
Can you see where goodness comes out of hardships and sufferings in your life?
What are you doing to set today apart from any other day of the week?
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 give you my all."
"I love you Lord."
"I trust that your plan is good."
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?
Set aside time today to be silent. Maybe from noon to 3 (the hours that Jesus hung on the cross) turn off your phone, don't watch TV or listen to music, and refrain from idle chatter or needless work. Read a spiritual book or go sit at your local Church and pray. Reflect on the goodness and the depth of this day.
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 Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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.