From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Shared Lectio Divina, April 2021

Shared Lectio Divina, April 2021

Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio group on Tuesday evenings. The following are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.

Reflections for 6 April | 13 April | 20 April | 27 April | the whole collection

6 April

Gospel reading: John 20.11-18 Mary Magdalene at the tomb

Words: as she wept

Reflections:

It would have been messy, all that weeping.

It was the women’s job to mourn, and sometimes could be a profession. But Mary definitely did not need to work at increasing the outworking of her grief. It was overwhelming.

She would have needed to clutch on to something in order to stay standing at all. Then as she was bending over the tomb, she was descending to the grave with Jesus in the depths of her grief. Psalm 130.1 says: ‘Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord; Lord hear my voice.”

Mary needed an encounter with the angels and a twice-turning encounter with Jesus in order to emerge once more to resurrection with him.

Grief needs time. All important things need time. I need to give things time, whatever they may be. I need to be gentle with myself.

13 April

Gospel reading: John 3.7-15

Words: you hear the sound of it

Reflections:

We hear the sound of the wind and we make meaning:

  • The rustling of leaves means the wind is in the trees
  • A gentle breeze leads to thoughts of Mozart – Che soave zeffiretto…Sotto i pini
  • The howling wind around Wantage chapel at the beginning of Compline leads to parallels with ‘your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour’

…taking its earthly sense, as implied later in the text, rather than its Spirit sense.

I make meaning, and none of it is true. All is interpretation. I know nothing of the wind’s past and future, and even of its present. So I am left with silence, as in the story of Elijah on Horeb. God was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. God spoke out of the sound of sheer silence (1 Kings 19.11-13).

20 April

Gospel reading: John 6.30-35

Words: may

Reflections:

‘may’ can mean ‘able to’ or ‘are allowed to’.

The second has the sense of special permission and exclusion: WE are allowed, YOU are not allowed. But Jesus says ‘whoever’. Everyone may come. No-one need go hungry of thirsty.

Then it’s up to each of us to be able to see – to be attentive – and then not to dismiss but to believe. It’s so easy to sleepwalk through the day and not be open. O God, help me to be open.

27 April

Gospel reading: John 10.22-30

Words: suspense

Reflections:

The suspense is manufactured by the crowd, via gossip and speculation. Much suspense is likewise manufactured today. For example on Who wants to be a millionaire, with lasers, music and cutting away to ads. Or in the media with comment and speculation on motives, forthcoming announcements, and so on. It all heightens the anxiety and hides truth and reality.

The crowd missed what Jesus has shown and told them. We also are in danger of missing God here among us, the present and the presence, the truth and reality of ourselves, other people and all things.

So a note to self: pay attention and cut down on the non-essential, non-important, non-urgent and non-real.