Nuggets in the Bible: Insights from Lectio Divina

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on December 4, 2013

in Blogs

After reading and hearing the Bible stories umpteen times, when we encounter them yet again, we might be tempted to tune out. This is foolhardy. Why? Because God speaks to us ever anew in his Word. I’ve discovered that sometimes I’ve overlooked—or been deaf to—a certain element in a biblical passage. Sometimes a homily or a lecture provides new insight. I’m not alone in this. At a staff meeting this week as we prayed over Scripture, one member said she had never noticed John the Baptist saying, “Even now the ax lies at the foot of the tree [which doesn’t bear good fruit].”

Pope Benedict XVI said that if people practiced lectio divina, holy reading, there would be a spiritual springtime in the Church. Lectio divina is a four-step method of prayer: reading, meditating, responding, and then wordless contemplation of God. Little details in Scripture that come to our attention can be a springboard to lectio divina. Here are four examples and a few reflections that they suggested to me:

1. In the Book of Genesis, after Noah enters the ark with the parade of animals, God shuts the door behind them. (Genesis 7:17) Granted that is not an earthshaking detail. Yet, it highlights God’s loving care and makes him more real. What little courtesies of God have I experienced?

2. In the Book of Exodus, it was an angel Moses saw in the burning bush. But then it is God who speaks to him. Why this change? What light does it shed on the relationship of angels to God? What do angels mean to me?

3. In the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph receives messages from an angel in a dream not just once, but four times. If God spoke through dreams back then, he might speak to me today through dreams. When has a dream changed my life? What “dream” do I have that might have its origin in God?

4. On the Feast of Christ the King (my feast day) Father Weber mentioned that the good thief was the only one in the Gospels to address Jesus by his personal name. How often do I call on Jesus by name? How intimate is my relationship with him? What name does Jesus call me?

What “new” detail in Scripture have you noticed or had pointed out? What did it mean for you?

 

 

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