The teachings of Christ are glorious. They are unlike anything the world has ever been given. Christ’s teachings are not just words, they are encapsulations of the truth, goodness, and beauty found throughout all of creation. When we unpack them, the connections we see between them and life in general are endless. This is why it behooves us to listen closely whenever Christ speaks. There will always be something profound in his words that we can learn.

I do love you, Jesus. I detest my sins because they offend you, not just because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. Forgive me of my sins, and teach me how to use the gift of the Holy Spirit that you gave me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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I give you a new commandment, "love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another."

The connection between unity and love here is clear. Jesus just got done teaching the disciples how he glorifies the Father and the Father glorifies him. The loving relationship between himself and the Father was apparent while Jesus sojourned on earth with them. Now that he is leaving, though, things will be different. His followers will no longer have that apparent example given to them by Jesus’ deeds and testimony. They will have to convey that love between themselves to keep the Gospel alive. This is how the world will know they are Jesus’ followers, because no one else championed love more than Jesus. No one else chose love over everything else like he did. Only through the strength Christ gives us, can we choose love in the same fashion. Praise be to God.

Dear Lord, I praise you for your unconditional love, and for how you convey it through Christ your son, and through your saints. Help me to be more like them, to show your love to the world, no matter how hard it may be. I only ask that you give me a glimpse of the glory that awaits those who live as your good and faithful servants. This small token of your grace will be the hope that sustains me. May my hope for heaven give me the strength to love here on earth. But also, help me to love unconditionally, seeking nothing in return, just as Jesus did. In His name I pray, Amen.

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“My sheep hear my voice”

The truth is a person. His name is Jesus Christ. Therefore, the truth has a voice. When we know Jesus, we recognize that voice. We can distinguish it from a crowd of other voices. We can discern when he is speaking and when he is not.

Lord Jesus,

I also pray that we may be one, just as you and Jesus are one. We want to be your sons and daughters, to share in the divine nature and live the divine life in Christ, our Lord and Savior. There truly is none greater than you, God our Father. As we sojourn in this valley of death, be our rod and staff. Comfort us and lead us to the heavenly gates that seem so far yet so close. You are holy. You alone are good. Keep us among your flock. Help us to always recognize your voice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The apostles listened to Jesus. They cast their nets on the right side of the boat and pulled in a great catch. Sometimes it all seems too easy: just listen to God and he will provide. So often we want to just do things our own way, thinking we know better. Just listen. Let’s not make things more difficult than they need to be. Sometimes the listening part of lectio divina calls us to be silent and still so we can hear God. Other times it tells us to listen as in being obedient. This time the Lord is telling us to just be obedient. In doing so we will enjoy God’s abundant grace.

Lord Father,

Some days it really does seem like I’m catching nothing. Peter can relate. But he also swam to you as soon as you provided the fish. Please help me to have faith in the fact that it is indeed you who provides, and not mere coincidence. When Peter saw the nets filled with fish, he knew it was from your providence. Every time you provide for me, I am tempted to think that it’s just good luck or something. But it is you. I should proclaim that just as John did. He said, “It is the Lord!” That is what I should say, while remembering this Gospel passage, everytime you provide. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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Jesus’ introductory words to the disciples when he met them after his resurrection were, “Peace be with you.” This peace quelled the storm of fear the disciples were experiencing. Our hearts are restless until they rest in God, said St. Augustine. I now think of this scene in the Gospel when I hear that quote. The disciples were restless, then Jesus came and they had peace.

Lord Jesus, I invite you to come, although the doors are locked. I invite you to break into the parts of my heart, my soul, and my life that I keep closed. You are my Lord and my God. Nothing compares to the peace you have to offer. Even though I search for something else everywhere else, nothing satisfies me like you. You are the Risen Lord and you show the way to paradise. Help me to follow you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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