Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
When I read this Gospel passage it is always a gut check for me. Am I hearing the Word of God and acting on it, or hearing it and then doing my own thing?
This is the kind of question we have to ask ourselves every day. Just because I decided to follow Christ and live for Him on a retreat, at a conference or at a camp does not necessarily mean that I am really living out that promise I made to God. Simply saying the words and/or standing up to profess my faith is saying “Lord, Lord,” or saying that Jesus is important to me is one thing; living it out is another. What does it mean to act on what Jesus tells me? How can I prevent from being one of those people who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven? There are two general things we must do: 1) actually listen to the Word of God and 2) apply what we hear and learn to our lives.
If you are reading these posts you are probably already doing the first step. Good job! We need to be familiar with scripture in order to get to know Jesus better and better understand how we ought to live. To act on Jesus’s words will be different for each person and will look differently from one day to another. But we must to both listen and act.
The key to living out the words that Jesus tells us is to become more aware of what is going on around us. This is where I love the season of Advent! It is a time of preparation and longing. We are longing to be with Jesus, to receive Him in our hearts. And in order to do this we have to better prepare our hearts by digging deeper and being honest with ourselves.
I’ll be honest, there are many days when I forget to ask myself “am I acting the way Jesus wants me to?” For example, when I lose my temper or talk bad about people behind their backs. These are just a few of several easy things to slip in to, so we have to be careful. Honesty, especially with ourselves and about our faults or sins, can be tough to accept. But if we want to grow in holiness and make it to the Kingdom of God, we need to admit our faults, ask God for His mercy and accept the graces He gives us.
As we begin this season of Advent and the Year of Grace, let us ask God for the graces we need to be reminded each day to better live out His word.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Am I listening to the Word of God? Am I really listening? Or am glancing over the scriptures and not really taking them in? How can I do a better job of listening to the Word of God?
Am I acting on the Word of God? Am I letting it change my life?
Am I sharing the word of God with others? Do I keep it to myself, or am I embracing my mission to go out and preach to others?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock."
"Listen and act."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with Lord bear fruit in you today?
We are only a few days into Advent. How are you preparing your heart for Christmas? Make a promise today to not only read the scriptures, but find a way every day to act on them too.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Cape Girardeau, MO.