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).
What holds us back from being on fire for Christ and sharing the Gospel with others? One of the major themes in today’s gospel is on this exact question. The disciples, in today’s story, had an experience of suffering, which led to a doubt, and this caused them to be held back from being transformed by God’s salvific action. They were in desperate need of consolation from Christ, and that is exactly what Christ offers them as the Divine teacher and healer.
The experience of Christ’s cross – of his suffering and death – was a shocking and traumatic event. Their hopes in Jesus as the Messiah were shattered, and they could not see God’s hand in such tragedy: “But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.” Jesus’ death caused them to doubt in Jesus’ identity as God - maybe he was a good person, but not the Messiah. Not even the testimony of their friends, who witnessed Jesus’ resurrection, could shake them from their doubt and shock of his crucifixion. How true in our life, when we undergo suffering, that we experience doubt in God’s wisdom, reality, or goodness, which saps our joy of sharing the Gospel. Others may have found the Lord, but I find it hard to see him due to my life’s experience.
The disciples trudged along the road blind and confused, and Jesus comes to offer them spiritual ointment to see suffering, himself, and God’s plan in a new light. Jesus does this through three ways: conversation, scripture, and the mass. Jesus begins with relationship and conversation, then he sheds light on God’s plan that does not reject suffering but transforms it, and finally, he shows them himself through the great gift of the Eucharist. This encounter with Christ totally transforms their hearts, and they literally run to share what they received with others. This image of running with the Lord is a great metaphor for the Christian life when we have truly met Christ, as opposed to the slow trudge of the disciples earlier in the day, absent of Christ’s joy.
The Lord, through his Church, offers us opportunities for real encounters with him through the Scriptures, in the Mass, and in the Sacraments. He desires to bring us the same Easter joy that these disciples received; he is the Resurrected Christ coming to find us on our road, to walk alongside us, to transform our hearts and then to send us out on fire with joy to evangelize. So what holds us back from being on fire for Christ, of running to share the Gospel with passion and joy, and what do you need from Christ to heal you and send you out this Easter Season?
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.
What has been my response to suffering in the past? How has Christ transformed my suffering?
Where have I encounter the Lord in the Church?
What is holding me back from being on fire for Christ? From what do I need Christ to heal me?
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.
"Transform my heart."
"Share the joy."
"Help me to find you in the suffering."
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?
Allow Christ to transform the sorrows and sufferings of your heart into a joy that you can then go out and share with others.
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 Jon Polce, a Jesuit Scholastic and current high school theology teacher.
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