Nourished by the Word

A reflection on the Gospel reading for April 15, 2020 (Luke 24:13-35) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB

After His Resurrection, Jesus appears to His disciples and asks if they have anything for Him to eat. We can see by this that He so wants to be at home with them, wants them to recognize that it’s really Him, and they do not need to fear. I can imagine Christ saying, “I’m here with you, I’ll eat with you, I’ll do all things with you…Do not be afraid.”

Then we hear that “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). I think this is the key to Lectio Divina—it’s not something we do of ourselves, but something Christ does. All we need to do is be present. He can open the Scriptures for us. He can bring to life those words. You are going to hear it straight from Him. I pray that whole world would experience this grace, because His words are life. They are the sword that can cut away all evil, and the very thing that is light and gives light. Take the time to read the Scriptures and delight in them, because God meets you in them, and He delights in you.

Christ gave us His very self, and what will we give Him in return? I hope we will offer Him our very selves, over and over again. That’s what we can do every time we read the Scriptures: “God, I offer you myself again.  Let me be that vessel You fill up.”

Our scheduled time for sacred reading is from 5:40-6:40 am, but we are encouraged to revisit the Scriptures throughout the day in order to be continually nourished by the Word.

…my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst…and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

John 6:32-38, abridged

On Eagles’ Wings

A reflection on Isaiah 40:25-31 by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB

In Isaiah we hear, “He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name” (Isaiah 40:26). I have a hard time with names, so if anybody can call an army, each one by name, that is a miracle. But that’s how personal God is. Nothing is by chance. We cannot fathom to what detail He takes care of our lives. Everybody has free will because God gives it, and sometimes we use it to our own detriment. But God desires to bring good out of the darkest situations.

The reading continues, “Why O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, ‘my way is hidden from the Lord’?” (Isaiah 40:27). No, it’s not. Who would believe that his way is hidden from the Lord? It astonishes me when people have the mentality that “God doesn’t know about this,” or “that won’t matter to Him,” and to make it less that it really is.  We should not minimize our actions. The Church needs our holiness. We should never say, “The Lord doesn’t mind,” because the Lord does mind, and we should mind too.  

Later on in Isaiah it says, “they who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings” (Isaiah 40:31a).  To soar as with eagles’ wings—could that not also mean to take that Word of God and let our souls soar to reach Him? Have you ever seen an eagle soar? They’re not flapping around; they’re just resting on the wind. Take His Word and rest in His Word. It has the power to heal, to restore the soul. “They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” (Isaiah 40:31b). God’s Word gives that power.

“And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.”

John 1:14
The Christ child on display in our chapel during the Christmas season