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).
“Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home…”
Today, my friends, we celebrate. The Church often sets certain days aside so that we can take the time to reflect on all the beautiful things that have happened in our Church’s history. Today is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our very own Mother, where we celebrate Mary being taken up into heaven body and soul. The Assumption of Mary is a fact about her that we often overlook, because, as so many people argue, it isn’t explicitly mentioned in scripture. However, it is a dogma of the Church, which means that it is something we hold to be true. Today’s readings provide some insight into WHY we celebrate this solemnity, and what exactly it means for all of us.
Have you ever heard the phrase “the world is thy ship and not thy home”? Our beloved St. Therese, the Little Flower, said this, and I think it relates perfectly to the Assumption of Mary and the readings for this solemnity. As I am writing this, I am currently sitting in an airport getting ready for my second year of work as a full-time missionary. Yesterday, as I was packing and checking-off my extensive list of what I needed to get done before my flight, I got so caught up in all the little details, rather than focusing on the big picture. I am getting ready for my second year of MISSION, my second year of the work the Lord has called me to do. But rather than remembering this, I was stressing about my hairbrush and how many t-shirts I could fit in a suitcase. This is what I want to encourage you all to focus on during this feast of the Assumption. What is God calling you to do today? Yes, the details are important, but remember that all of those little details surrounding our day-to-day life are meant for a bigger purpose.
The last line of the Gospel today really stuck out to me today, and I really urge you all to take 5 extra minutes out of your day to sit with this verse: “Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home…” In the Gospel we learn that during Mary’s pregnancy, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. She remained with her cousin for three months, and then left to return home. This story reveals to us that while it was good for Mary to be with Elizabeth, ultimately, there was a bigger purpose for Mary: to give birth to and raise the Son of God Himself. While she loved her cousin dearly, she knew she needed to return home.
If we look closely at this story, we see that it points to the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother. While the earth is good and she did innumerable things during her time on earth, ultimately, God desired for her to be home with Him in Heaven. “The world is thy ship and not thy home…” This is why we celebrate this feast. Our Mother is constantly desiring to point us to Jesus, and today she is walking with us through the details of our life here on earth but is ultimately pointing us to our true fulfillment, life with Jesus in Heaven.
Remember, my dear friends, that the Lord desires you. He has a plan for you, and while the stresses of this world can sometime seem to be too much to bear, remember that He ultimately has a place for you back Home. Enjoy the journey, but always remember, through the example of our Mother today, the destination set before you.
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.
Where are you journeying to? What is your destination?
What mission has the Lord given you in this life, during your time here on earth?
What details have you been focusing on? In the midst of all those details, what is the bigger picture?
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.
"God is calling me."
"I have a bigger purpose."
"The world is thy ship and not thy home."
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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Don't worry so much about all the little details, and remember that God has a greater purpose and plan for your life.
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 Sarah Freddino, a FOCUS Missionary at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.