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 in the presence of a newborn baby we typically hear words as such: cute, beautiful, handsome, happy, smiley, a blessing, adorable, maybe – whiny, etc. Correct me if I’m wrong, but none of us have been in the presence of a newborn baby and heard the words, “this child is to be a sign that will be contradicted.” No way! Well, it happened to our Blessed Mother.
In the Gospel today as Jesus is being presented in the Temple to the just and devout man Simeon, he speaks tough words to Mary...Jesus will be contradicted and a sword will pierce her heart.
Jesus was overwhelmingly contradicted when He walked the face of the earth, and He is still a sign of contradiction today. This contradiction, Jesus, brought life to the world then, and continues to bring life to the world now.
So often we can hear “sign of contradiction” as such a negative phrase. Yet, when linked with Christ it means a “sign of hope,” “a beacon of truth,” “a light to a dark world,” “a witness of virtue,” “a presence of God,” “a message of love.”
You and I - through Baptism - have become one with Christ, so we too are “signs of contradiction.” Our task is to give the world a glimpse of God. Are we showing our aching world through our witness signs of: faith – hope - truth – life – virtue - and love? Have no fear - be a sign of contradiction - your reward will be great!
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.
Are you willing to be a sign of contradiction in the world when it is dark and far from God?
How can you be a witness to hope in world plagued by hopelessness?
How can you be a witness to love in a sign plagued by fear and loneliness?
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.
"Jesus, I Trust in You."
"Mother Mary, Pray For Us."
"Give me hope."
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?
Be bold today. Be willing to be that contradiction. Wear that retreat t-shirt that has been hiding in the back of your closet, or that Crucifix you got for Confirmation. And most of all, let your life and your actions be the greatest sign of hope.
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 Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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