A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday and Weekday Liturgy

 

 

BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD (Series 10, n.23)

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER: April 29 – May 5, 2012 ****

 

(N.B. The pastoral tool BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD: A LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY LITURGY includes a prayerful study of the Sunday liturgy of Year B from three perspectives. For reflections on the Sunday liturgy based on the Gospel reading, please scroll up to the “ARCHIVES” above and open Series 1. For reflections based on the Old Testament reading, open Series 4. For reflections based on the Second Reading, open Series 7. Please go to Series 10 for the back issues of the Weekday Lectio.

 

Below is a LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY - WEEKDAY LITURGY: April 29 – May 5, 2012. The following reflections are based on the weekday liturgy’s Gospel reading.)

 

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April 29, 2012: FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

 “EASTER: A Time to Care for His Sheep”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 4:8-12 // I Jn 3:1-2 // Jn 10:11-18

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd, exceedingly loved by the Father because he lays down his life for the sheep. His act of total, loving self-sacrifice is in sharp contrast to the miserable shepherding of the false leaders of his time. Indeed, Jesus is able to accomplish his role as the Good Shepherd of the Father’s flock because he and the Father are one. The pastoral ministry of Jesus is inclusive: “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd”. This all-inclusive ministry flows out from his loving and intimate relationship with the Father who has compassionate care for all. The pastoral mission of the Good Shepherd finds completion on the cross when he lays down his life for the sheep. His life-giving ministry needs to be actualized in the “here and now” by his disciples.

True pastoral ministry may be verified in the life of Archbishop Van Thuan who was a prisoner in various Communist prisons in Vietnam for thirteen years, nine of them in solitary confinement (cf. Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, Testimony of Hope, Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2000, p.75-76).

At 9:00 in the evening of December 1, 1976, I suddenly found myself with a large group of prisoners. Chained one to the other in pairs, we were loaded by police onto a truck. A short trip brought us to Tan Cang (Newport), a new military port opened by the Americans a few years before. In front of us we saw a ship, but it was hidden in such a way that people would not be aware of what is happening. We boarded and went north – a voyage of 1,700 kilometers.

Along with other prisoners, I was taken to the hold of the ship where the coal is loaded. Our only light came from a small oil lamp; other than that, complete darkness reigned. A total of 1,500 people were forced to endure indescribable conditions. (…) The next morning, a little sunlight infiltrated the hold of the ship and, in that funereal atmosphere I could make out the distraught and despairing faces if the prisoners around me. Some of the prisoners called for me because a man had tried to hang himself with a steel wire. I spoke with him, and in the end he accepted my counsel. (Two years ago at an inter-religious encounter in California, I met this man again. Full of joy he came toward me, thanked me, and began to recount the whole incident while showing everyone the scar that still remains around his neck.)

During that trip, as the prisoners learned that Bishop Van Thuan was on board the ship, they approached me to tell me of their anguish. The hours passed, and I found myself sharing in their sufferings and comforting them throughout the day. The second night, in the cold of that December on the Pacific Ocean, I began to understand that a new stage in my vocation was beginning. I spent that three-day journey sustaining my fellow prisoners and meditating on the passion of Jesus.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO 

How concretely do we incarnate the love and care of Jesus, the Good Shepherd in the here and now? Like the Good Shepherd, are we willing to lay down our life for the “sheep”? Who are the “sheep” that need our special care?

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

(Based on a prayer composed by Blessed James Alberione) 

 

We thank you, Jesus Good Shepherd,

for having come down from heaven to seek out humankind

and bring it back to the way of salvation.

In you is fulfilled the promise:

I will raise up in the midst of scattered sheep

a shepherd who will gather them and care for them.

Have mercy on those who nourish themselves

on falsehood and vanity.

Recall sinners to your way.

Sustain the wavering; strengthen the weak.

May everyone follow you,

Shepherd and Guardian of souls.

You alone are the Way.

You alone have the words of eternal life.

I will follow you wherever you go.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

            “I am the good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” (Jn 10:11)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO   

 

Today is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Offer special prayers and sacrifices for the increase of priestly, religious and consecrated lay vocations in the Church who will carry out radically Christ’s pastoral mission in the world today.

 

 

***

 

April 30, 2012: MONDAY - EASTER WEEKDAY (4) or SAINT PIUS V, pope

 “EASTER: A Time to Follow the True Shepherd-Gatekeeper”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 11:1-18 // Jn 10:1-10

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

Using the metaphor of shepherds and the imagery of a door or a gate, today’s Gospel reading (Jn 10:1-10) presents Jesus as the legitimate Shepherd of the flock and the gate of the sheepfold. Jesus’ fidelity to his sheep and his sacrifice for them are in contrast to the failure of the stumbling, blinded, bullying Pharisees and temple authorities. Jesus is the Good Shepherd loved by the Father because he lays down his life for the sheep. It is this act of total, loving self-sacrifice that makes him the true shepherd and the “gate of life”. Jesus gives us access to the fullness of life. He came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus’ pastoral mission of giving life to his flock is fully achieved in his paschal sacrifice on the cross and glorious resurrection.

 

In today’s world, Pope John Paul II crystallized the ministry of the true shepherd and incarnated the profound meaning of a sheep gate. Cardinal Ratzinger, who later succeeded him as Pope Benedict XVI, reiterated this at the funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II: “The Holy Father was a priest to the last, for he offered his life to God for his flock and for the entire human family, in a daily self-oblation for the service of the Church, especially amid the suffering of his final months. And in this way he became one with Christ, the Good Shepherd who loves his sheep.”

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do we truly thank the Lord for the gift of Jesus, the true Shepherd and the sheep gate that gives access to eternal life? Do we listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd? Do we also thank the Lord for the Pope, bishops and priests he has given us that we may experience abundant life?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

though your people walk in darkness

no evil should they fear

for they follow in faith the call of the Shepherd

whom you have sent for their hope and strength.

Attune our minds to the sound of his voice.

Lead our steps in the path he has shown,

that we may know the strength of his outstretched arm

and enjoy the light of your presence.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord

who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“I am the gate for the sheep.” (cf. Jn 10:7)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Express your gratitude to priests and all those who have truly carried out the ministry of the Good Shepherd in your local faith community.

 

 

***

 

May 1, 2012: TUESDAY – EASTER WEEKDAY (4) or SAINT JOSEPH THE WORKER

“EASTER: A Time to Imitate Jesus, the Carpenter’s Son”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 11:19-26 // Jn 10:22-30

or Gn 1:26-2:3/ Col 3:14-15,17, 23-24 // Mt 13:54-58

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

Today we commemorate Saint Joseph the Worker and all working people. In 1955 Pope Pius XII instituted this special feast to emphasize the dignity of labor and bring a spiritual dimension to labor unions and legislation. Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus of Nazareth is the “carpenter’s son”. As he learns and practices the carpentry trade of his foster father Joseph, Jesus brings dignity to human work and especially manual labor. As Joseph and Jesus ply their trade at the workbench, human work becomes a living participation in the mystery of redemption. Indeed, through the example of Joseph and Jesus, work becomes an expression of love, an instrument of sanctification, and an efficacious means to follow the saving will of God, the Creator and Redeemer.

The following story gives a glimpse into the work ethic and sterling virtues that adorn the relationship of Jesus and his foster father Joseph, the worker-carpenter (cf. Richard Edgington, “You Break It, You Fix It” in COUNTRY, February/March 2012, p. 54-55).

I knew I was in a hot water clear up to my neck! I waited for Dad to come, wondering what my fate would be. I had a wild hope that maybe he wouldn’t see the window. But when he drove up, opened the car door halfway and stopped, I knew he’d seen it. Would I get yelled at, or maybe get my britches fanned? He walked over to where I sat.

“Well”, he said, “you learned how to break a window. Now, you’ll learn how to fix one.” I followed him to the barn. “Get the stepladder”, he said. He handed me a pair of his high-top gloves, which were a half-dozen sizes too big. I climbed up a couple of steps on the ladder, wishing I had three hands so I could hold on with the two and work with the third. “Be careful, and work out the rest of the glass”, Dad said. He showed me how to measure for a new piece of glass with his folding ruler – the one I never get to touch. Then he said, “Let’s go to town.” I climbed down and we went to Pohlman’s Hardware in Spencerville. I told Mr. Pohlman the dimensions of the glass I wanted. He cut it and wrapped it in newspaper. (…) After supper we went out to the barn, and Dad taught me how to fix the window.

Dad could have been my buddy and fixed the window for me, but he didn’t. He was my dad, and he made me fix it. In 70 years, I’ve repaired many windows, but I’ve never forgotten that first one. It reminds me of all the wonderful things I learned from my dad. So. All you dads out there, don’t be your boy’s buddy. The next time you hear the sharp crack of an errant baseball going through the window, make your son fix it. It will pay big dividends.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

Do I contemplate Joseph and Jesus at the workbench in Nazareth and derive insight about the dignity of human labor and the redemptive dimension of work?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

O loving God and heavenly Father,

you entrusted the care and training of your Son Jesus

to Joseph, the carpenter-worker of Nazareth.

Jesus learned the dignity of human labor

and the necessary trade skills

from his foster father Joseph.

Help us to contemplate

their inspiring examples at the workbench

that our own work may become fruitful.

Bless the work of our hands

and let them participate in the mystery of redemption.

Grant that the rights of workers

may be greatly respected in today’s world

and their efforts justly compensated.

Give us the strength we need

as we work for the advent of your kingdom.

We love and give you praise, now and forever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“Is he not the carpenter’s son?” (cf. Mt 13:55)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Be conscious of the dignity of human labor and the great role it plays in the mystery of redemption. Pray for those seeking honest jobs at fair living wages and promote the rights of workers.

 

 

***

 

 

May 2, 2012: WEDNESDAY – SAINT ATHANASIUS, bishop, doctor of the Church

“EASTER: A Time to See Light”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 12:24-13:5a // Jn 12:44-50

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

Jesus comes to the world as “light”, not to condemn the world but to save it. His life-giving word is “sunlight”. To turn our back to sunlight is to embrace darkness. Spiritual darkness is the natural consequence of negation of divine light. To refuse the words of Jesus reinforces spiritual blindness and hardness of heart. The self-imposed verdict of death-dealing darkness results from one’s willful disbelief and refusal to see the divine glory revealed in Jesus, the light of the world.

 

Easter is a season of light – the ultimate light in the Risen Christ. As Easter people, we are called to see with “seeing” eyes. With the light of faith we thus see the beautiful contours of human life and history in sharp focus. John Sherrill, an insightful Christian writer, shares his experience of what it means to see “light” and perceive beauty everywhere (cf.  “May 14 Reflection” in DAILY GUIDEPOSTS 2010, p. 153).

 

I stepped out of our hotel early that morning, hoping for better air than we’d breathed since touching down at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport the evening before. But again the city’s stench assaulted me. A swarm of three-wheeled Tuk Tuk taxis roared by, leaving blue smoke clouds behind them; a beggar’s face was masked against the foul smog; a dog with runny eyes sniffed at an orange peel in the gutter.

 

My walk took me to the refuse-clogged Chao Phraya River. And it was there that I saw her, a tiny woman with pitted skin and shaking hands. She wore a threadbare ankle-length green dress and she was as bony as the dogs scrounging for food in every alleyway. Around her neck was a rope of tiny purple orchids so fresh and perfect that they must have been in the orchid market ten minutes earlier. As I watched, she took the lovely flowers from her neck, placed them on a small quayside altar, arranged them with great care, stepped back to judge the effect, made a few small adjustments and left. This lady’s religion was not my own, but her gift was also a gift to me. She was bringing an offering of beauty, creating an oasis of order and harmony in one corner of a chaotic city.

 

From that moment on I began to see Bangkok differently. I noticed a woman scrubbing the sidewalk in front of her closet-sized store where she sold spools of thread; a man cleaning his ancient but gleaming car with a feather duster; a teenager helping a blind man into the bouncing ferryboat that crosses the river. All works of beauty are manifestations of God, and by the time I left Bangkok, I was seeing Him everywhere. It’s a beautiful, beautiful city!

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

What is our response to Jesus, who comes into the world as life-giving and saving light?  Are there moments in our life when we refuse to see light and prefer death-dealing darkness? Do we turn to the Risen Savior to let him dispel the darkness that dims our hearts?

 

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO 

 

O Risen Christ, you are the light of glory.

Dispel the sadness and death-dealing darkness in our hearts.

Let your victory over death fill us with life-giving power.

Make the sunlight of your saving word shine upon us all.

Help us to perceive the beautiful contours of life everywhere.

Transform us into light bearers

that radiate the joy of your resurrection to the whole world.

We rejoice in your unending light, now and forever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

 

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“I came into the world as light.” (cf. Jn 12:46)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Look at the events of your daily life with “seeing” eyes that see the beauty and presence of the Risen Lord everywhere. Pray and comfort one person who is sad and despondent and help that person rejoice in the joy of the life-giving light.

 

 

 

***

 

 May 3: THURSDAY – SAINTS PHILIP AND JAMES, apostles

“EASTER: A Time to Do His Works”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Cor 15:1-8 // Jn 14:6-14

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

Today we celebrate the feast of Saints Philip and James. In the Gospel reading, Philip voices a request that manifests his fervent thirst for God as well as his lack of understanding of the perfect union of Jesus with the Father. Jesus is the great “sacrament” of God. He makes present and signifies who God is and what he is. Whoever has seen the Son has seen the Father. In receiving Christ, we receive God the Father whole and entire. The Christian believers are able to perform the works of God just as Christ has done. With the death and glorification of Christ and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, the disciples are able to continue the divine works of Christ in time and space.

Transformed by the Easter event and empowered by the Spirit of the Risen Lord, Saints Philip and James proclaimed the Gospel message throughout the world. By their apostolic ministry and martyrdom, their participation in the works of Christ was brought to perfection. According to the Acts of Philip, following the resurrection of Jesus, Philip was sent with his sister Mariamne and Bartholomew to preach in Greece, Phrygia and Syria. Through a miraculous healing and his preaching, Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of the Hierapolis. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne all tortured.  Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip’s preaching, the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross, but Philip insisted that they not release him. And Philip died on the cross.

St. James the Less, the author of an inspired epistle, was also one of the Twelve. St. Paul tells us that he was favored by a special apparition of Christ after the Resurrection. In the dispersion of the apostles among the nations, St. James was left as Bishop of Jerusalem; and even the Jews held in such high veneration his purity, mortification, and prayer, that they named him the Just. The earliest Church historians has handed down many traditions of St. James's sanctity. He was always a virgin, says Hegesippus, and consecrated to God. He drank no wine, wore no sandals on his feet, and but a single garment on his body. He prostrated himself so much in prayer that the skin of his knees was hardened like a camel's hoof. The Jews, it is said, used out of respect to touch the hem of his garment. He was indeed a living proof of his own words, "The wisdom that is from above first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, full of mercy and good fruits." He sat beside St. Peter and St. Paul at the Council of Jerusalem; and when St. Paul at a later time escaped the fury of the Jews by appealing to Cæsar, the people took vengeance on James, and crying, "The just one hath erred", stoned him to death.

The Church commemorates on the same day Sts. Philip and James, whose bodies lie side by side at Rome. They represent to us two aspects of Christian holiness. The first preaches faith, the second works; the one holy aspirations, the other purity of heart. Saints Philip and James are sterling examples of Easter faith and total service to the Gospel.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do you believe that that the Father and the Son are one? Do you put your faith in Christ as you endeavor to the do the saving will of God?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

God our Father,

every year you give us joy

on the festival of the apostles Philip and James.

By the help of their prayers,

may we share in the suffering, death, and resurrection

of your only Son

and come to the eternal vision of your glory.

You live and reign, forever and ever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.” (Jn 14:12)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Thank the Lord for the gift of Saints Philip and James to the Church and their apostolic witnessing. In your daily activities, be aware that you are called to do the works of God in Christ and so carry out your tasks with spiritual motivation.

 

 

***

 

 May 4, 2012: FRIDAY – EASTER WEEKDAY (4)

“EASTER: A Time to Follow Jesus, the Way, Truth and Life”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 13:26-33 // Jn 14:1-6

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

Dan Griffin, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, narrates a charming incident when someone had to show him the way (cf. MARYKNOLL magazine, January-February 2005, p. 8).

 

Tanzania is a big country with few roads and even fewer road signs. One day as I was driving along in a remote area of Shinyanga in the pouring rain, I saw a woman alongside the road. I thought I would be a Good Samaritan and give her a lift. As she climbed into the truck, she asked me where I was going. I told her I was headed to Mwadui Mine. “Good,” she said. “Then we can help each other.” Puzzled, I asked what she meant. “I’m going to Mwadui,” she replied, “and you’re going to Mwadui, but we are going in the wrong direction.”

 

Today’s Gospel reading (Jn 14:1-12) underlines that we need someone to show us the way to the Father, and that Jesus, the true Shepherd and the Gate for the sheep, is precisely the true and living way to him. In the way he lives, in the truth of his word, and in the quality of new life that he brings, Jesus reveals the Father and leads us to a life of loving intimacy with him. Indeed, if we wish to know what God is like and if we long to have an access and participation in the divine life, we need to look to Jesus, the way, and the truth and the life – at his life of service and public ministry, at his transforming and prophetic words, at his paschal mystery of passion, death and resurrection.

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

How do we personally experience Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life? In our word and deed, do we replicate the person of Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Father of holiness, Lord of heaven and earth,

in the Word made flesh

you have spoken your words to us

and you call us to follow him.

He is the way that leads to you,

the truth that sets us free,

the life that makes our joy complete.

Grant us the grace to know the truth,

to follow the way

and to share your eternal life

in Jesus, the way, truth and life.

We adore you and glorify you, now and forever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

            The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the week. Please memorize it.

 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6)

 

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Participate in the saving mission of Jesus Christ by trying to be yourself “way, truth and life” for a neighbor who is troubled, lost and confused.

 

 

***

 

May 5, 2012: SATURDAY – EASTER WEEKDAY (4)

“EASTER: A Time to Know the Father in the Son”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 13:44-52 // Jn 14:7-14

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus makes a very important statement: “If you know me, then you will also know my father.” Jesus is the true image of the Father. He radically reveals the nature of the Father as the fullness of love. Our daily living must be a reflection of God in Jesus. Our mind, will and heart, our thoughts, words and deeds must reflect who God is in his inmost being. Indeed, Jesus is the “great sacrament” of the self-giving, loving God. Since the Father is reflected in the Son, we get to know God the Father through his beloved Son Jesus Christ.

The following charming story illustrates the saying, “Like father, like son” (cf. Fay Angus, “May 15 Reflection” in DAILY GUIDEPOSTS 2010, P. 154). It also gives insight into the awesome affinity and intimate relationship of God the Father and his Son Jesus, sent as our Savior.

During the heat of the California summer, we invite our neighbors to come over anytime for a dip in our pool. Van is a favorite; he loves to cycle up and down our hills, his forehead dripping under his protective helmet, and it’s great to see him park his bike by the pool and plunge in, staying under so long that it’s a relief when he eventually surfaces.

This particular weekend his son was with him. On leave from his base in San Diego, he was tall, with the upright, straight-as-an-arrow deportment typical of the military, a firm handshake and steady eyes that locked into those of the person talking to him. I liked him. I liked him even more when he peeled off his T-shirt to take a swim, for across his upper torso, under his collarbone, was a tattoo: Carpe Diem, Latin for “seize the day”. I was fascinated, “Tell me about this”, I asked. “I want to make every moment of my life count”, he said, giving me his father’s wide smile. “My service to God, to my country and to making the world a better place: this is a daily reminder of my commitment.”

He sprang from the diving board and swam the length of the pool in one swoop, like a torpedo. On the return lap, his arms were turbojets churning the water. Wow, I thought, if he represents the caliber of our military, we’re in good hands!

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do we believe that if we know the Son we get to know also the Father? How do we show our love for both God the Father and his son Jesus?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

O loving Father,

your Son Jesus is the “great sacrament” of who you are

and what you are in your inmost self.

Jesus Christ is the full revelation

of your saving will and life-giving love.

Let us be totally configured to Christ Jesus

and fully united with you

through the Easter mystery of his death and rising to glory.

We give you praise and glory, now and forever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.” (Jn 14:7)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

By your life of virtue and service to the poor and needy, manifest to the world the love and goodness of God the Father in his Son Jesus.

 

 

 

***

 

 

Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang  PDDM

 

 

PIAE DISCIPULAE DIVINI MAGISTRI

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