my vision of the world.

Hope does not disappoint

I’ve been praying with this passage for a long time and I wanted to share with you some of the fruits the meditation of it has given me but I didn’t know how because it is so deep. Then My father gave me the idea of sharing some of his texts with you and here it goes.

For those who do not know my Father writes for Shalom Maná, a monthly magazine of the Shalom Community. Every month he gives some guidelines to help us in our Divine Reading, I hope it may help you.

Lectio Divina / Divine Reading

Translated from: Jose Ricardo F. Bezerra. (My Father BTW)

As we always do before start reading, let us ask the Holy Spirit’s help. Let us pray: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Let us pray. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

You who are a reader of the Shalom Manna Magazine know the purpose of this section is to get you to read, meditate and pray with the Word of God through the ancient and proven method of the Lectio Divina which consists of four steps: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation.

Take today’s passage of the Letter of Paul to the Romans, chapter 5, verses 1 to 11 (Rom 5:1-11) and let us do our lectio this day. Read slowly, the middle voice, the verses indicated.

As you could have seen this passage is of great beauty and depth. But our goal here is not to know or study the theological ramifications that it offers. We want to, through this reading and meditation,  pray and allow the Lord to enlighten us.
The Apostle explains the relations between faith, hope and love in the midst of tribulations we pass in life and after a chain of words he concludes by saying that “hope does not disappoint …” (v.5). How many times we have suffered disappointments, isn’t it? These unpleasing surprises are part of our day-to-day. We create expectations about things and people and when they do not happen, there comes disappointment. But God’s Word comes today to show us something that does not disappoint: Hope! You believe that? And there’s a reason why it, hope, does not disappoint. It is because, the passage continues, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.” God’s love is the guarantee. God is faithful and when we put our hope in Him we can be sure that He will always give us the best. Have you ever felt that love in your heart? It Maybe pass through your head this thinking: “But I do not deserve …” Nobody deserves it! God’s love is free love, we haven’t done anything to deserve it. And it is the Holy Spirit received in our baptism who pours this love. And mind it, it is poured, giving the idea of abundance that is particular to God himself. Take a moment and think. Are you disappointed? Disappointed with something? Put your hope in the Lord, for He does not disappoint.
St. Paul goes on showing another truth. “Hardly anyone gives life to the just … But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.” In the dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus had already revealed that this is one of the greatest truths of the Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16). What an incomparable grace, isn’t it? The Father,  moved by love, sent us Jesus who died to give us salvation, eternal life. Blessed love that gives us so undeserved gift! Meditate and pray about it.

Read the passage again. See other points. St. Paul says that faith gives us peace in God (cf. v. 1). How different is the lives of those who have faith … You notice the value he attaches to the trials. They generate perseverance. So do not be slaughtered when you go through great difficulties. Know that they will produce perseverance. And this will lead you to having a proven virtue. Well, the virtue will lead us to hope that will lead us to God. God is Love! God is our hope that does not disappoint! God is faithful!

Prayer
How many things the Lord has inspired us to pray with this lectio, isn’t it? Resume your prayer by praising Him and thanking Him for this wonderful love of a Father. Keep thanking Him for the love of Jesus who gave His life on the cross for us. Praise the Holy Spirit, Who is the love of the Father and of the Son Who pours Himself into our hearts … Thank also for the trials and difficulties, however painful they are, because they can become powerful ways to draw us closer to God. Continue your prayer in the way that the Spirit leads you… Contemplate at last, the glory of heaven that God has prepared for those who love him …
At the end of the Lectio, remember to take your notebook and write down the prayer of thanks that the Lord made you experience. If you can write to us giving your witnessing . It is a joy to have you as a reader.  (See the addresses on the back cover of this magazine or my email josericardo@comshalom.org.) (Or comment this post)

O God, Who has sent into this world your only Son to free mankind of old slavery, grant  those who hope in your mercy to achieve true freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

O Mary, Queen of Sinners and Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us!
See you next month!
Shalom!

For those who want to learn more about lectio divina this post may help.

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