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).
When I was about 10 years old, I went through a phase where the thought of dying really freaked me out. I was raised Catholic, so I believed that those who love God go to heaven, but the idea felt so foreign. I didn’t want to leave my family and my body behind. After many long nights, lying awake and wondering, I resigned myself to the fact that heaven was going to be a nice place, and I truly did believe that as a Catholic, so the fears gradually subsided.
What happens when we die? Have you ever wondered exactly what that will be like? It can be a scary thought, one that we would rather not ponder in detail sometimes. But today’s first reading gives us an amazing glimpse into the throne room of heaven.
St. John the Apostle, near the end of this earthly life, is given a vision of heaven. This vision is not meant to be literal, exactly—our human minds and hearts can’t imagine the joy and glory that awaits us. But the images St. John sees reveal some important truths about the life of heaven.
First of all, we know that Jesus will be glorified fully—seated on his throne, shining like the most glorious jewels, he will reign as the King. Imagine the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, the most pure and unconditional love you’ve ever felt, the most incredible power you’ve ever witnessed, and the most heavenly music you’ve ever heard, roll them into one, and it still doesn’t come close to the glory of Jesus in heaven.
All God’s beloved throughout time are caught up in worship of Jesus. The four living creatures are angelic beings, bowing down in worship. Then we see all mankind, symbolized by the twenty four elders: twelve Old Testament sons of Jacob, and twelve New Testament Apostles. And as followers of the apostles, we too are invited into the throne room of Jesus: later in the book of Revelation it speaks of a multitude so great that no one can count the number, worshiping the Lord. That’s us! You are invited, at the end of your earthly life, to participate in a beauty and glory that you can’t even imagine, all centered around Jesus.
So today, rather than being scared or worried about what happens to us and all those who are in Christ after we die, reflect on this great mystery: that eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has prepared for those who love him.
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 do I imagine heaven will be like?
What scares me about death?
Where do I catch glimpses of heaven here on earth?
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.
"The glory of God awaits."
"Worthy are you, Lord."
"Holy, holy holy."
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?
Pray to God to bring you comfort and peace as you look forward to joining Him in heaven one 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 Becca O’Hara, who loves Jesus and lives with her husband Chris in Halifax, Canada, where they both work for the Church.
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.