Video Series: Pondering the Living Word

By Kathy Keary

Our full series in the Contemplative Prayer Video Series is here.

Revisit earlier articles in our Contemplative Life Series here.

I love the Easter Bible stories. They are so rich with powerful messages and poetic language leaving us with heart-warming images to savor. In the coming weeks, we will pray with these Scripture passages in different contemplative ways. May the spirit of these vitalizing words soak into the fiber of our being as we linger with them for a while. Allow the life-giving text to change and renew your heart and mind. May we encounter the presence of the Living God as we bask in the light of the Gospel.

We often hear Scripture referred to as the Living Word of God. Make room for these moving stories to come alive and speak to your life in the here and now.

We will begin with a popular story of when Jesus makes breakfast for his disciples on the beach. I will read the passage and then offer reflection questions for you to ponder. I recommend that you journal your responses as journaling encourages us to plumb the depths of our soul. Some people though are resistant to journaling. I respect that.

Sometimes what we are experiencing is beyond words, so don’t be shy about expressing all that is whirling within you through the arts. So have the dance shoes and markers ready.

This reading is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 21.

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.

So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.

When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.

Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

Use the below questions as a springboard for your reflection.  Take some time to ponder your responses. Reflect on how you are being touched by the Living Word of God.

Food for Reflection:

  1. Just like the disciples did not initially recognize Jesus, we too fail to realize Jesus’ action in our lives. With the advantage of hindsight, reflect on the times when you now see this happened to you?
  2. When the disciples followed Jesus’ suggestion, they caught a multitude of fish. What stirs within you when you reflect on the times that you have experienced being the recipient of God’s abundance? When have you followed God’s lead and were richly blessed? Communicate to God the thoughts and feelings that arise.
  3. Imagine coming face to face with Jesus. What do you do? What do you say? What is his response?
  4. Jesus served the disciples by fixing them breakfast. Reflect on the times that you have followed in Jesus’ footsteps and served others. Reflect on times when you have been the recipient of outreach. How have these experiences changed you?
  5. As you ponder this story, do you sense an invitation? How is God speaking to you today through the Living Word?

You will not want to miss World Labyrinth Day at the Precious Blood Renewal Center May 7th. The day will be facilitated by Fr. Joe Nassal. We will join the world in praying for peace as we walk the labyrinth.

I plan to practice what I preach. I will be on vacation the next couple of weeks exploring the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Flagstaff. I am so looking forward to getting away and savoring the beauty of creation. I will return with my next video May 23rd when we will continue our contemplative look at the Easter Stories.

May the good Lord bless and keep you and hold you close.

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[Kathy Keary, spiritual director, holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in theological studies, and completed Sophia Center’s Souljourners Program, an intense study of spirituality and spiritual direction. Kathy believes that the Divine is present and active in all of life and encourages others to be awakened to the God in all including the Divine within. She enjoys accompanying others on their journey to wholeness discovering the person they were created to be.]

Photo 95723738 / Bible © Javier Cruz Acosta | Dreamstime.com

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