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: Mediatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
At first glance, it might be challenging to see what the first reading has to do with the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, which we celebrate today. After all, Nathan and David lived years before our main man Joseph even enters the scene. But, when we lean into this passage and take a closer look at how it’s connected to the New Testament, the placement of this reading begins to make a little more sense.
Let’s start with Joseph. I like to think of St. Joseph as a man of mystery, seeing as we don’t actually know all that much about him. But, here are the basics of what we do know: he was a carpenter by trade, he certainly wasn’t rich, and, most importantly for our purposes, he came from a royal lineage.
In the first reading today, the Lord instructs Nathan (a prophet) to go tell David (the king) that God plans to raise up an heir from David’s lineage who will be a son to God and whose royal throne will be firm forever; sound like anyone we know? (Hint: it does. He’s talking about Jesus).
You see, as Jesus’ foster father, he didn’t just pass down his carpentry skills. He also passed on his lineage, his ancestors; and Joseph just so happened to be a descendent of, you guessed it, King David (you can see this in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:23 and Matthew 1:1). So what does all of this tell us? Well, it tells us that God chose Joseph, a humble carpenter, who had barely any money, to pass down the royal lineage that made today’s prophecy a reality.
So often in my own life I find myself objecting to the work God wants to do in and through me because it doesn’t really make sense why he would choose me; I mean I sin…like all the time. But, if there’s anything we can learn from today’s first reading, it’s that our God loves to choose the most unlikely of characters to help enact his will. So, as we continue forward in this Lenten season, let us ask for the intercession of St. Joseph who knows, probably better than almost anyone, what it means to prayerfully serve the Lord.
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.
What does the story of St. Joseph tell you about God's relationship to ordinary, sinful people like each of us? How does He want to show you that He loves you during this Lenten season?
In your prayerful service of the Lord, how has Lent been going for you so far? How can you work on adhering more closely to what He has planned?
As you look back, how have you seen God's plans work out? How can you work on trusting in His plans for you life moving forward?
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.
"You choose me."
"I will follow You."
"St. Joseph, pray for us."
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?
In honor of St. Joseph's prayerful service of the Lord, find a way that you can serve and follow God in a unique way today and do it. Maybe it's reaching out to a friend who needs help. Maybe it's calling a relative who could use the friendship. Whatever it is, serve the Lord uniquely today.
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 Lauren Wright, an Adore Missionary and Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.