Lectio Divina: "Do not be afraid"
Lectio Divina (aka “divine reading”) is a traditional Church approach to praying with scripture in a personal way. There are a number of different methods of praying Lectio Divina, and we encourage you to try different ones and find out what works best for you. This week, we invite you to reflect on Scripture and welcome the Holy Spirit to be your guide as the Word of God speaks to your heart. We have provided a guided reflection for two different Gospel readings below - you may wish to choose one or work through both. The Fruitful Hollow team is praying for you.
Step 1: opening prayer
Holy Spirit, be with me. Guide me through these words of sacred Scripture. Open my eyes and heart to the Word and welcome Jesus into my heart today.
Step 2: read the Gospel passage
If possible, do so out loud. If your spouse or a friend is with you, you are welcome to read it aloud together.
Gospel; Matthew 14:22-33
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."
Gospel; Matthew 17:1-9
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid." And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
Step 3: guided reflection
Read through the passage again, this time silently. Does a particular word, phrase or sentence resonate with you? Did something surprise you? Sit and reflect on that verse and what it might mean for you.
Read the passage again quietly. Be mindful of what God may be speaking to you through this passage. How will you respond to God’s invitation to prayer or action?
Be still and rest in the embrace of our loving God.
Step 4: closing prayer
Close with a prayer from your heart, thanking God for this time together