Lectio Divina: 2022-04-22

This Friday we had both the Lectio Live meeting at the Xaverian Centre as well as the normal online session.

We considered the reading for the Second Sunday in Easter Year C.

Jn 20:19-31 Eight days later, Jesus came.

Lectio Live

Today has been one of this days we couldn’t stop saying ‘how wonderful is to be here’ in our Lectio Live; as so many other times prior to Covid.

It was lovely to see dear old friends and noticing that we felt as good together as the last time we were all in our peaceful Oratory; the beauty of Lectio in our beautiful Xaverian Centre.

A blessing for all the senses.

Blessed be the Holy Spirit who drives us!

We prayed for each other, for the Peace and Healing of the Lord in the world, in our families and friends, in our communities.

Please keep the Xaverians in your prayers; next week. They have an important meeting to decide what they are going to do for the next two years.

Lectio online

One

In the reading Jesus says ‘Peace be with you’ three times. Not only he is offering his love he is offering us peace in our souls. Waves of peace can flood my soul when I spend time in his presence. He enfolds me in his loving arms. If I pause and wait in the silence he lets his love and peace soak into my soul. May the peace and joy of the risen Lord be upon us. We do indeed worship a truly majestic God.🙏

Two

There are many sentences in this passage that I could take for my Lectio Divina this morning. I will take just one. “Stop doubting and believe.” When Thomas doubted and wanted proof, Jesus didn’t just leave him with his doubts, He gave him proof. I am reminded of all the times I have questioned, I wouldn’t use the word doubted. If I have a problem with understanding why things are, Jesus gives me a reminder by making something happen to show me that He is there and there is no need to fear. He needs to do this a lot for me and He does this every day of my life.

God  bless. Stay safe and well. Pray for peace.

Three


I felt very excited as I started to read: The evening of that same day…” It is still Easter Day!,

John says the doors were closed because of fear of the Jews. This brought to mind how often as nations and individuals we close the doors against the stranger. Unless Jesus breaks through we risk missing the supreme gift of his “Shalom”.

At various times in the O.T. the people were cautioned to treat the stranger among them as they would their own family. According to Jesus it is the criterion on which we will be judged. Maybe that judgement comes in this world now as well as at the End. In that way there will be no peace as long as we close the doors to others, even barricading ourselves with our lethal weapons; no wonderful “Shalom”. It is a huge subject bearing down heavily on my heart and as I’ve grown older, with increased insight I’ve understood the effects that this fear and lack of hospitality had on my own family.

But what about my own locked doors? Throughout life I have realised I had a fear of others -markedly not the foreigner or those otherwise different from me – but in so many ways I can shut myself away, or part of myself. Too many boundaries even when my heart seems wide open. I know this has often prevented me from receiving shalom through others. I will try with the renewed power and grace of the Risen Jesus to overcome with him.

Continued blessings for Resurrection – tide!

Four

As I start reflecting on the chosen lectio passage you are all gathered together in person whilst I am sitting in my chair with my early morning cup of tea 3,500 miles away. And yet the Holy Spirit is weaving in and out of our thoughts drawing us together in communion so there is no separation at all.

Praise the Lord.

If you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.

I have been puzzling over these words since Wednesday. At first glance it seems that another person’s forgiveness is dependent on my forgiving them first. But I sense Jesus is saying go deeper.

The Message Bible says ‘if you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?’ What am I going to do with them? I think about the times I have held on to a perceived hurt with an unforgiving heart and the resentment ate away at me. Maybe the other person was oblivious or maybe I damaged the relationship because I avoided them or pretended that everything was OK when it wasn’t. Is that closer to what Jesus is talking about? I think this is where He is leading me. Yes, this is what I can do when I am hurt, I hold on with a tight fist and it leads to more suffering.

Three times Jesus says ‘Peace be with you.’ I know that if I am not willing to take my suffering to Him there is no peace. My relationship with Him is about transformation. Setting my pride aside and being willing to be vulnerable I can become the person He wants me to be. He throws light on those areas that are hiding in the shadows and beckons me out, and by loving me helps me to forgive myself and others.

Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.

Byron Katie

Five

I let Jesus whisper to me , “ You will be blessed if you decide to believe !” To believe in him is to give my heart to him, not just my head. It is not too demanding to do this, because He has already given his heart to me.

Six

“Although the doors were shut”

There is so much in this passage and it is well known but today the above words jumped out of my Bible. “The doors were shut”

There are so many horrors taking place in the world at the moment and for many our hearts are aching and overwhelmed. Sometimes it is easier for me to avoid the news and the media and “close down” – close the doors of my heart to keep the aching at bay. 

The closed doors were not a barrier to Jesus as he entered anyway and said once again to the disciples “peace be with you” In the same way he enters my heart. 

In the midst of the horrors of this world Jesus says these words to us. 

Jesus offers me a deep deep peace in the middle of the storms. A peace that passes all understanding. When I truly know this peace I can weather the storms

I pray that my heart will always be open and the peace that fills my heart will flow out towards others. 

 “Be the peace you wish to see in the world”

Martin Luther King

Seven

This is one of my favourite Gospels; there so many beautiful messages here that called me today…

Peace be with you.’ Traditionally in my country, Spain, until not so long ago people saluted people known or unknown with ‘La Paz de Dios sea contigo’, (May the Peace of God be with you).  I read that originally it was not only meaning wishing peace, but also ‘May God give you every good thing.’  Isn’t it a beautiful message?  I think there are wonderful wishes we can use with each other, all through God. Let’s use salutations with more meaning!

I was filled with JOY reading this Gospel, I can’t imagine how joyful the disciples must have been having been in fear. And no wonder, their Master and Friend Jesus was killed; they must have thought they would be next. And yet, there He was, in front of them, ALIVE, jubilation, happiness, exulted gladness… all come to me when I imagine myself in their situation.

As the Father sent me, so I am sending you‘ The Lord told them/ tells us what we have to do in this commission of Jesus; to continue his work; His ministry in the world, to bring the Good News; Jesus was born, died and is RISEN, to bring us LIVE, to give us HOPE, to allow us to have Salvation. Is it not a marvellous and joyful invitation for all?

Though the Lord knows me, knows us all, He knows how weak I am, how you may be too. Thus, He also leaves us a precious GIFT to help us in the task with this words ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ How aren’t we to be glad?

Although these amazing messages are in this Gospel, it is special to me because I am also a person that often has not seen and disbelieved, like Thomas saying ‘Until I see… I refuse to believe.‘ However, reflecting more on this I think I am not a gullible person; which is very different from being a believer. I do believe in You Lord.

Also I do not need You to ask me ‘Give me your hand...’; I wasn’t there that day, with the Disciples, but I do believe what they passed on, through uncountable generations, to me. Then, I am also like Thomas in recognising You as ‘ my Lord and my God, and this has been always how I feel is my Lord for me.

How could I not be Joyful?

Lord you know me and you love me, help me to do the Will of the Father.

Lord your Presence is enough to turn doubt and disbelieve into a profession of faith, help those who don’t believe in You to recognise Your Presence among all peoples.

Let’s us continue praying for the healing and peace of the Lord may be in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, in the world. In particular a bring the war in Ukraine to you Lord, may the Peace of the Risen Lord be with everybody, every nation involved in any conflict.

In Jesus’ Name I pray.