Sometimes, a single verse is enough for a day—if not for a whole lifetime. This is one of those verses: “You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.” It is a claim much like the musical scales that the pianist must continually practice, whether a beginner or an accomplished virtuoso. What are these “ways of life” that God has made known to us?

As in most cases, responses of a general nature will have little meaning for us and will do little to help us build resilience in our lives. The real question is this: What ways of life have we learned, or do we need to learn? These ways might be simple and follow the truths we learned as children: honoring others, speaking truthfully, and living humbly. Each of these postures is a way to practice resurrection. We turn from acts or habits that belittle others and open our hearts to live generously toward them—whether our friends or those who threaten us. This is the hard truth Jesus teaches again and again in the Gospels: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

If the Resurrection is to mean anything in our lives, it must be this: The call to live beyond the narrow logic of fear, selfishness, and hatred, to live into the “ways of life” that constitute the generous truths of God among us.

Will this be easy for us? Rarely. Practice might not “make perfect.” But it will lead us—moment by moment within our relationships—into a deepening measure of freedom and joy.

Lord, give me the courage of heart and the simplicity of mind to heed those truths that promise to lead me in the ways of life, so that I too may taste the gladness of your presence. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 20:19-31

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Lectionary Week
April 13–19, 2020
Scripture Overview

In the week following Easter, we reflect on the Resurrection. In Acts, Peter declares to his fellow Israelites that the story of Jesus is the fulfillment of promises made to their people long ago. He quotes Psalm 16, the second reading for the week, and applies it to Jesus. First Peter opens with a passage of extended praise for God’s mercy, and this is rooted in the hope that comes through the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, we may suffer in this life as Jesus suffered, but just as he is glorified, we will also one day be glorified in the Lord. John recounts a post-resurrection appearance to the disciples. All except Thomas have already seen Jesus, and here is Thomas’s first interaction with the risen Lord.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Acts 2:14a, 22-32. How do you practice living into the “ways of life”?
Read Psalm 16. What would change if you were to make requests for God’s protection a fundamental of your faith?
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9. How does the mystery of the Resurrection help you understand and love Jesus?
Read John 20:19-31. What role does forgiveness play in the way you practice resurrection?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.