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).
I remember when my oldest brother moved to Australia for a year and the lack of his presence felt awful. I didn’t want him to leave and in my anxious heart, I wanted to cling to the hope that maybe plans would change. When he returned home, it was as if my family took a deep sigh of relief and could breathe: we were whole.
As we reflect on this mysterious feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, we may notice the confusion and sorrow of the Disciples as they were told that their Lord would be leaving them. Again. I mean, especially after His death, His Resurrection, and time as the Risen Lord. There must have been a sadness that they felt. Was their initial response one of openness and trust? Wouldn’t they beg for their lives to stay perfect as it was-no changes?
Today’s feast speaks so much to our human responses of anxiety and clingyness. The Lord answered the Disciples with patience, knowing that their hearts may be anxious when they were asking if this was the time he spoke of: to restore the Kingdom of Israel. Anytime we are told that our plans will not unfold the way we assume, it is not fun. But the Lord is not ignorant of this human response of anxiety. Jesus exclaims to the Disciples that they will receive the Holy Spirit and be WITNESSES. AKA: He expresses that they have no need to cling to Him, no need to be anxious, and no need to doubt that He fulfills His promises. He is not leaving them, but coming upon them in the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Not just allowing them to receive the Holy Spirit, but to receive POWER from the Holy Spirit! Whoa.
The same Promise is made to us: receive the Holy Spirit, be His witnesses to the ends of the Earth, and join in the Heavenly Banquet. Jesus’ salvific mission is completed by His life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension (as we hear in the Eucharistic Prayers at Mass). If we are open to the truth of His Mission, we are sent out as not just observers, but we are entrusted as witnesses of the Kingdom of Heaven. A Kingdom that is meant for all and has a specific room for you. Witnesses to the truth that the Lord knows our anxieties, trials, doubts, and He sends us His help every time we pray and let go of our humans anxious reactions.
There is power in choosing to live as a witness of Christ. Do not cling, remain open, and let out a sigh of relief; for we are made whole through His promises.
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 can I open my heart to Him and live as a witness to His promises?
What is an anxiety that I am clinging onto because I think it may be too much for God?
How can you respond to God's call and promise today, as we celebrate Jesus' Ascension to glory where we will one day, God-willing, join Him?
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 will be Your witness."
"I give it all to You."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
Share your faith with someone today or at least this week. Don't just imply it, but find a time to truly share why you believe what you believe and what God has been doing in your life.
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 Katy Praetzel.
If you have anything you'd like us to pray for, please head to our prayer page and let us know!